Ecuador narco : President Noboa issues order to ‘neutralize’ gangs in war bosses torn countryEcuador narco : President Noboa issues order to ‘neutralize’ gangs in war bosses torn country

On Tuesday, Ecuador’s president issued directives to combat criminal gangs following a disturbing incident where armed individuals shot inside a television studio. This came amid a second day of turmoil in the country, with reports of bandits menacing the populace with the threat of arbitrary executions Noboa . The president’s orders aimed to address the ongoing violence plaguing the nation.

Ecuador’s leader, Daniel Noboa, claimed that the country was facing a “internal armed conflict” after criminal gangs declared a “war” in reaction to a security crisis triggered by the escape of a famous drug lord on Sunday. Ecuador, a previously tranquil country located between major cocaine-exporting countries Colombia and Peru, has seen an increase in violence as competing gangs with links to cartels in Mexico and Colombia compete for dominance.

Noboa, who entered office at the end of the previous year on a vow to combat rampant drug-related crime and violence, acted quickly in response to the escape of Jose Adolfo Macias, popularly known as “Fito,” the leader of Ecuador’s biggest gang, Los Choneros. On Monday, he proclaimed a countrywide emergency and imposed a nocturnal curfew.

In reprisal, gangs kidnapped police officers, set off bombs in many locations, and launched a violent attack on a TC television station in Guayaquil on Tuesday, equipped with firearms and explosives.

During a live broadcast on TC television, people with masked faces fired bullets, sparking fear as a lady begged for their safety and urged them not to shoot.

The intruders forced the scared studio personnel to the floor, causing mayhem as the show proceeded despite the darkness created by the studio lights turning out.

After approximately 30 minutes of chaos, the cops arrived to the studio in response to a warning about “an injured associate.” Thirteen persons were captured, and officials reported no deaths or injuries during the operation.

Terrorist organizations

Subsequently, Noboa initiated military operations with the objective of breaking up organised criminal gangs, labelling them as “terrorist organisations and non-state actors engaged in warfare.”

He had promised to take on the cartels earlier on Monday, but they responded quickly and forcefully.

Authorities confirmed the kidnapping of seven police officers on Tuesday and reported many explosions and burning cars, mostly in Quito.

Three of the kidnapped cops are seen in a gruesome video that went viral on social media sitting at gunpoint and one of them being forced to make a statement meant for Noboa.

The cop said, “You’ve started a conflict, and you’ll get one in return,” with obvious fear on his face. You’ve Noboa issued an emergency proclamation. We proclaim that troops, police, and citizens are henceforth considered war trophies.” The message continued by threatening to execute anybody seen outdoors after 11:00 p.m.

Many cities’ stores and companies had to close early as a result of the situation’s widespread concern. As in-person lessons were cancelled nationally till Friday, citizens rushed home.

The top US ambassador assigned to Latin America, Brian Nichols, conveyed his profound worry about the violence and kidnappings. He promised support and promised to be in constant contact with Noboa government.

Return peace to all Ecuadorans

Authorities are presently looking for Fito, a felon serving a long term for a variety of heinous offences, including organised crime, drug trafficking, and murder. He escaped soon before a planned police examination of the Guayaquil jail where he was being detained. Along with Fito, another infamous person, Fabricio Colon Pico, head of Los Lobos, fled after being imprisoned for allegedly conspiring to kill Ecuador’s attorney general.

Tension has risen in many jails, and reports suggest that prisoners have seized control, imprisoning 125 guards and 14 administrative personnel in five locations. Unverified films circulating on social media purport to show these detainees, armed with knives, committing fatal deeds against at least two guards. However, the jail administration, SNAI, has not formally responded to these films.

Security personnel reacted with their own film, which shows multiple jail intrusions since Sunday. They showed hundreds of convicts assembled in prison yards, stripped down to their pants and obeying commands by putting their hands over their heads.

In reaction to these incidents, Noboa issued a bold proclamation on Monday, refusing to deal with terrorists and promising to work tirelessly to restore peace for all Ecuadorians.

Drug-related violence has had a tremendous influence on Ecuador, which was formerly famed for its calm image but is now a key link in the cocaine traffic to the United States and Europe. The country’s murder rate doubled between 2018 and 2022. Over 7,800 killings occurred last year in a country of roughly 17 million people, with a record seizure of 220 tonnes of narcotics.

The situation within jails has been severe, with prisoner fights resulting in over 460 fatalities since February 2021, many of which included brutal techniques such as beheadings or immolation. On Tuesday, nations such as Chile, Colombia, and Brazil voiced sympathy and support for Noboa in the middle of the crisis.

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