Ecuador lives immersed in a spiral of violence perpetrated by organized crime groups. An unprecedented insecurity crisis that has been unleashed after President Daniel Noboa decreed a state of emergency on Monday, with a night curfew.
The proclamation of the state of emergency comes after the authorities confirmed the escape of ‘Fito’ from the Guaya Regional prisons, in Guayaquil, one of those involved in the recent wave of violence and instability within Ecuadorian prisons.
In the last few hours, a series of explosions, kidnapping of police officers and escape of prisoners have been recorded in various parts of Ecuador.
Violent acts by armed gangs
The first explosions took place in the city of Esmeraldas when a vehicle caught fire when, From the prisons, the inmates demanded that prisoner transfers not be carried out nor is there progress in controls in penitentiary centers. But the Secretary of Communication of the Presidency of the Republic, Roberto Izurieta, said this Tuesday that the Government will not give up on actions in prisons.
Among the violent acts reported, On Monday afternoon, antisocial groups threw an explosive device near the Esmeralda Subzonal Commands, without injuries or material damage.
In Quito, a vehicle that had two gas cylinders inside was incinerated last night in the southern area, while an explosion was recorded in one of the pedestrian crossings of a highway that connects the capital with a nearby valley.
Iván Saquicela, president of the National Court of Justice, reported this Tuesday the detonation of an explosive device outside his home, in Quito.
The Police have arrested the two individuals who allegedly planted an explosive device. They have also been registered detonations in the Andean city of Cuenca and violent events in the provinces of Loja and Chimborazo.
In Chimborazo the escape of prisoners was reportedamong whom would be Fabricio Colon Pico, arrested last week after the State Attorney General, Diana Salazar, mentioned him in the preparation of an alleged plan to attack her.
The National Service for Comprehensive Attention to Adults Deprived of Liberty and Adolescent Offenders (SNAI) has not commented on the escape of prisoners or on the case of Colón Pico. However, John Vinueza, mayor of Riobamba, said that Colón Pico is one of the 32 escapees from that city’s jail. The prisoners left through sentry box two of that prison center, reported the Primicias portal.
kidnapped police officers
During the incidents in the prisons, this Monday videos circulated in which people dressed in prison officer uniforms that they read messages from the prisoners in which they asked the head of state, Daniel Noboa, to stop his control actions in the prisons.
The SNAI has confirmed the retention of prison officers, but has not detailed how many, in which prisons or the condition in which they are found. Furthermore, this morning other videos have returned to circulation in which there is a threat to end the lives of prison officers if Noboa persists in his plan.
In Quito, the Police confirmed that an agent was kidnapped in the UPC Llano 1 police unit, by three “antisocials who were driving a tinted vehicle without license plates,” indicated on the social network X (formerly Twitter).
Neither the SNAI nor the Ministry of the Interior nor the Police have confirmed whether indeed those who appear in these videos are penitentiary agents or police.
On the other hand, the Police indicated that, during the night of Monday, in the Wilson Franco Community Police Unit (UPC), city of Machala (south), three police officers were kidnapped.
Assault on a television in Guayaquil
This Tuesday, a group of armed hooded men took over the facilities of the Ecuadorian channel TC Televisión in the north of the city of Guayaquil, located in the east of a country.
The incident began after 2:00 p.m. (local time), when members of criminal groups have broken into the facilities and they opened fire inside the studio while the TC Television signal was on the air, according to the newspaper ‘El Universo’.
Just a few minutes later, the Ecuadorian television network suspended the broadcast of its signal. Some journalists have done Using your social networks or messaging platforms to ask for help to the police.
“We are in the air so that they know that we do not play with the mafia,” one of the hooded individuals has come to proclaim, who hide their faces under caps and masks and have shown weapons and explosives.
The president of Ecuador declares an internal armed conflict
Following the criminal acts carried out by these “narcoterrorist” groups, President Noboa has signed a decree in which he declares “the existence of an internal armed conflict” in the country.
In the decree, which will come into force as of this Tuesday, it orders the Armed Forces “execute military operations” under International Humanitarian Law and respecting Human Rights with the objective of “neutralizing” armed groups.
The text names belligerent non-state organizations and actors such as the Los Águilas criminal gang, the Los Lobos gang, the well-known Latin Kings, the Los Tiburones criminal gang or the Los Choneros drug trafficking cartel, among others.