Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Écuador: the mutineers in prison free all their hostages

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Prison officers freed by the mutineers at Machala prison.

Agence France-Presse

After a week of ordeal, all the hostages, or 136 people, who remained held by mutineers in Ecuadorian prisons were released during the night from Saturday to Sunday, the prison administration announced.

This night, security protocols and the joint action of the police and the national army allowed the release of all the hostages who were held in different prisons in the country, indicates this press release.

Congratulations to the patriotic, professional and courageous work of the armed forces, the national police and the SNAI […] for obtaining the release of the guards and administrative staff detained in the detention centers of Azuay, Cañar, Esmeraldas, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, El Oro and Loja, President Daniel Noboa reacted immediately on the X network (formerly Twitter).

According to the police, 46 guards and one official were released from Cotopaxi prison (center), 13 from Tungurahua prison (center), and 15 others from El Oro prison (southwest). ), where the lifeless body of a civil servant was found.

The images released by the police showed the guards, including many women, in tears, exhausted and supported by their colleagues shortly after their release.

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Thank God we all came out okay. We are in good health. Hoping that this will be a big step for the country towards peace, said in another video on social networks the hostages released from Cotopaxi, brandishing an Ecuadorian flag.

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For a week, hostages under threat from the mutineers had been calling on the authorities for help and restraint.

For a week since their detention lasted, hostages, under threat from mutineers armed with knives or firearms, regularly called on the authorities for help and restraint, according to videos regularly broadcast on the networks. At least two of them, one of whom was hanged, were executed by the mutineers, according to gruesome images.

Nearly 175 people, guards and prison administration officials, were taken hostage at the end of last week. Around forty of them were released during the day on Saturday, with the authorities citing mediation by the Catholic Church.

Throughout these hostage situations, the prison administration (SNAI) gave very few details, with security forces confronting mutinous prisoners in some penitentiaries and playing negotiations in others.

The announcement of the January 7 escape from the Guayaquil penitentiary (southwest) of the feared leader of the Choneros gang Adolfo Macias, alias Fito, provoked a wave of mutinies with hostage-taking in at least five prisons, attacks on law enforcement and other acts aimed at sowing terror.

At least 19 people were killed, according to the latest official report.

The young president Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency and ordered the army to neutralize these criminal gangs, now considered terrorists.

More than 22,400 troops have been deployed, with land, air and sea patrols. Searches and all-out operations were carried out in prisons, while a curfew was imposed.

After a wave of panic throughout the country caused by the live attack Tuesday on the studios of a public television in Guayaquil, a large port on the southwest coast and epicenter of narco violence, the situation is returned to relative normality.

Activity has resumed almost normally during the day, in Guayaquil as in Quito, even if the Ecuadorians are quickly returning safe at home at the end of the afternoon.

Once a haven of peace, Ecuador has in recent years become the shipping center for cocaine produced in neighboring Colombia and Peruvian.

Drug traffickers have little by little imposed their law in the country, given over to the violence of criminal gangs. Ecuadorian prisons, overcrowded and divided up by gangs, are in particular the regular scene of massacres between these rival gangs: Choneros (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Lobos (those from Chone, a town in the west of the country), Tiguerones (Tigers), Wolves) and other Aguilas (Eagles).

Daniel Noboa, 36, was elected last November as the youngest president in the history of country on the promise to restore security.

His predecessor, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, was faced with several crises of violence in prisons and decreed state of emergency several times, without managing to regain control of the situation, and more generally to stem drug trafficking, linked to corruption, which is plaguing the country.

By admin

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