President Daniel Noboa recognized through an emergency decree “the existence of an internal armed conflict.” The measure highlights the severity of the Ecuadorian crisis, worsened in the last hours after the escape from a Guayaquil prison of José Adolfo Macías, alias Fito, the leader of the criminal organization Los Chonerosa series of riots in several prisons and the entry of armed men into a public television studio in the middle of a live broadcast, neutralized after a police intervention. The decree, which must be validated by Congress, orders the Armed Forces to neutralize 22 criminal groups that are classified as terrorist organizations and belligerent non-state actors.

In Ecuador, the president listed, the Águilas, ÁguilasKiller, Ak47, Caballeros Oscuros, ChoneKiller, Choneros, Covicheros, Cuartel de las Feas, Cubanos, Fatales, Gánster, Kater Piler, Lagartos, Latin Kings, Lobos, Los p.27 operate. Los Tiburones, Mafia 18, Mafia Trébol, Patrones, R7, Tiguerones.

In this way, the Executive expands its range of responses to the challenge of drug trafficking and the security crisis, which already include the state of exception and the curfew.

Ecuador is experiencing unprecedented days since alias Fito, who heads the country’s main drug trafficking gang, allied with the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, vanished from a prison unit supposedly guarded with extreme zeal. Incidents in prisons have become a dark commonplace for years. What had never happened before is that a group of hooded men, with rifles and grenades, broke into a television studio.“Please don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” a woman can be heard saying in the televised images, while other people sitting on the floor cover their faces.

Situation under control

According to Ecuavisa, the criminals turned off the lights on the recording set and the signal was later suspended. “We are in the air so you know that you don’t play with the mafia“one of the assailants had said before.

The Police confirmed the deployment of troops outside the canal, located in the north of the city of Guayaquil. “Given the entry of criminals into the facilities of a media outlet in #GYE, our specialized units are deployed on site to address this emergency.” In a video broadcast through social networks, one of the presenters asks that the Police “please” leave to avoid a major disaster. The institution reported that it was able to control the situation and arrested 13 people

Other incidents

In turn, the press reported that three police officers were kidnapped in the southern city of Machala, and another uniformed officer was kidnapped in Quito. “None of these events will remain unpunished,” the institution assured.

The crisis has multiple scenarios that are connected to prisons, from where drug trafficking intervenes outside and conquers urban territories by force. The Secretary of Communication, Roberto Izurieta, recognized that there is a failed prison system in Ecuador. “An adjective that is not new; however, the recognition of the facts is a first step that must open the way to concrete and lasting solutions, not to a momentary ‘calm’,” the newspaper noted. The universe in his editorial.

Correa supports Noboa

The situation is so serious that, from his exile, former president Rafael Correa came out to support Noboa. “The country is living a true nightmareunimaginable a long time ago, the result of the systematic destruction of the rule of law, of the errors, of the hatred accumulated over the last seven years and of which we have been one of the main victims.” However, Correa made it known, not without certain drama, that ““It’s time for national unity.” because circumstances force him. “Organized crime has declared war on the State and the State must prevail, must win. President, you have everything, our total and unrestricted support. Please don’t give in. We will discuss our political differences after the victory“.