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Mexico condemns violence in Ecuador

by Yucatan Times
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Once a stable a region, Ecuador is now wracked with drug-related crime, Ecuador is now seeing brazen attacks that have shocked the world.

Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa has declared a state of emergency after at least 10 people were killed in a series of bold attacks in the past several days, as the South American country grapples with record gang-related violence.

The 60-day state of emergency and nightly curfew was imposed on Monday following the escape of a powerful gang leader from prison. On Tuesday night, an armed gang stormed a TV studio, forcing staff to lie and sit on the floor as shots and yelling were heard.

Noboa, 36, who came to power in November, has vowed to respond with force amid the spike in violence. He has also promised to reform prisons, which have emerged as a hot spot of drug violence.

“The time is over when drug trafficking convicts, hitmen and organised crime dictate to the government what to do,” Noboa said in a video posted on Instagram on Monday.

The involvement of Mexican and Colombian cartels has worsened the situation.

Last year about 8,000 people were victims of violent deaths, making 2023 one of the most violent years in Ecuador’s history. In the last five years, the murder rate has quadrupled.

August 2023: Fernando Villavicencio, a presidential candidate and a former journalist, was assassinated on August 9, as he left a campaign rally in the capital, Quito. Villavicencio’s campaign promises had focused on a crackdown on gangs and his death came less than two weeks before the August 20 presidential vote.


Before his death, Villavicencio had said he’d received death threats from Jose Adolfo Macias or “Fito”, the jailed gang leader of the Los Choneros criminal group and one of Ecuador’s most powerful drug lords. Fito was found disappeared from jail on Sunday.

September 2023: Gangs attacked several locations throughout the country from September 1 onward, using car bombs and dynamite explosives. A bridge linking two cities in the coastal El Oro province was blown up. Gangs also attacked several prisons, and 50 guards and seven police officers were kidnapped. The attacks came weeks before the October 15 run-off election. The kidnapped security officials were released after a day.

Schools were also ordered shut for a few days from September 24 in the cities of Guayaquil and Duran, both violence hot spots, to reduce the risk to students.

January 2024

Sunday, January 7 –  Fito, the drug lord, escaped the La Regional jail in Guayaquil hours before he was set to be transferred to a maximum security prison. The transfer of prisoners is part of President Noboa’s initiative to reform prisons, which have seen scores of inmate killings in recent months.

TYT Newsroom

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