Ecuador: Dozens of unidentified bodies decomposing in morgue

Ecuadorian media have reported the discovery of many decomposing bodies in the “Guayaquil” morgue in Ecuador, where foul odors were emanating from the decaying bodies piled up in the damaged refrigerators of the morgue.

The forensic authority explained that two refrigeration units at the center of the “Guayaquil” morgue were damaged due to voltage changes that occurred during the power rationing periods imposed by the government, with power outages lasting up to 13 hours a day.

The authority also noted that, in addition to the electrical failures in the refrigerated units, there was an increase in unidentified bodies due to rising criminal violence in the country, where the government is facing an “internal armed conflict” against organized crime gangs.

As a result, the forensic unit has intensified its technical and scientific procedures to exhaust identification methods in order to implement the burial process later, according to current legal regulations and in respect of the victims’ rights and human dignity.

Non-governmental organizations, such as the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (IACHR), have described the situation as negligence on the part of the Ecuadorian government for failing to prevent the decomposition of bodies in “Guayaquil.”

The increasing wave of criminal violence has also made Ecuador one of the most violent countries in Latin America, with a murder rate of 47 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023, according to the Ecuadorian Observatory of Organized Crime (OECO).

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