Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

In Ecuador, the army takes over the streets of a country

Open in full screen mode

In Quito, soldiers patrol Wednesday around the Carondelet Palace, which is the seat of government and the official residence of the president, following around thirty attacks that have occurred, according to the Ecuadorian government, since the announcement of the escape of the leader of the powerful Choneros gang, Adolfo Macias, alias “Fito”.

Agence France-Presse

Hundreds of soldiers patrol the almost deserted streets of the Ecuadorian capital on Wednesday, after the violence of the last two days by gangs linked to drug trafficking which left at least ten dead and plunged the country into “terror”. p>

Soldiers are visible especially in the empty streets surrounding the presidential palace in central Quito, while in the north, La Carolina Park, the #x27;one of the largest in the city of three million inhabitants, is empty.

Few cars circulate in Quito, as in the large port of Guayaquil (southwest), where businesses and boutiques remain closed.

There are fear, you have to be careful, look here and there, if I take this bus what will happen? a 68-year-old woman who goes to work in the north of Quito told AFP on condition of anonymity. She claims to be terrorized by the ongoing violence in the country.

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday ordered the closure of all schools until Friday.

LoadingCOVID-19 and the “respiratory virus storm”

ELSE ON INFO: COVID-19 and the “respiratory virus storm” respiratory virus storm »

Sunday's escape from Guayaquil's high-security prison by the feared leader of the powerful Choneros gang, Adolfo Macias, alias Fito, and mutinies in many of the country's prisons triggered a muscular response from President Daniel Noboa, 36. , elected in November on the promise of restoring security in the country.

On Monday, the youngest president in Ecuador's history declared a state of emergency for 60 days, and on Tuesday declared the country in a state of internal armed conflict, ordering mobilization and the intervention of the armed forces and the national police to guarantee national sovereignty and integrity.

Fito had already escaped from a high-security prison in 2013, before being recaptured after three months. His name made headlines in the press after the assassination, at the beginning of August, of one of the main presidential candidates, who had reported death threats from the head of the presidential elections shortly before his execution. Choneros.

This gang, of around 8,000 men according to experts, has become the main player in Ecuador's thriving drug trade. Fabricio Colon Picole, leader of another powerful gang, Los Lobos, also escaped on Tuesday.

Several mutinies and hostage-taking of guards have affected various prisons since Monday, relayed by frightening videos broadcast on social networks showing the captives threatened by the knives of masked inmates and the execution of at least two guards by shooting and hanging.

More than 100 guards and administrative agents are being held hostage in at least five prisons, according to the administration prison, which communicates very little on the subject.

Armed men even burst onto the set of a public television station in Guayaquil on Tuesday, taking journalists and employees hostage until the x27;intervention by law enforcement.

Open in full screen mode

In Guayaquil, police present to the press images of men accused of attacking a television station on Tuesday. Until the intervention of the police, journalists and employees had been taken hostage, but no one was injured during this event.

The United States, the European Union, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and even Venezuela have rejected this violence.

The secretary UN General Antonio Guterres is very alarmed by the deterioration of the situation in Ecuador, his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Wednesday.

France and Russia have advised their nationals against traveling to the country and Peru has declared a state of emergency along its border.

Security forces, for their part, have broadcast images of their interventions since Sunday in various penitentiaries, showing hundreds of detainees in their underwear, hands on their heads and lying unceremoniously on the ground.

These images recall the communication of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, credited with having restored, thanks to his war against gangs, security in his country, at the cost of restricting the rights of detainees according to defense organizations human rights.

Ecuador, once a haven of peace, is ravaged by violence after becoming the main point of departure ;export of cocaine produced in neighboring Peru and Colombia.

Assassinations there increased by 800% between 2018 and 2023, from 6 to 46 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2023, 7,800 homicides were recorded and 220 tons of drugs seized.

By admin

Related Post