Daniel Noboa declares state of exception after leader of Ecuador’s largest criminal group escapes

Against the backdrop of a new crisis in the prison system, the president suspended the rights to freedom of assembly, inviolability of the home and freedom of movement between 11 pm and 5 am.

Against the backdrop of a new crisis of violence in Ecuadorian prisons, President Daniel Noboa declared a state of exception while judicial and security forces search for fugitive Adolfo Macias, also known as “Fito.”

With this decision, it governs 60 daysNoboa suspends freedom rights associationinviolability Homeinviolability consistent in prison and freedom of movement Between 11pm and 5am.

Furthermore, the Executive Powers report stated that the state of exception “allows for the mobilization of the armed forces to support in a complementary manner the internal security efforts of the National Police, whether in detention centers or on the streets”.

File photo of Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa (EFE/José Jácome)

“The days of those convicted of drug trafficking, killers and organized crime dictating orders to the government are over,” the president said in a video.

Noboa added, “What we see in this country’s prisons is the result of the decision to fight them. That’s why the Government is taking action to enable us to regain control of the detention centers we have lost in recent years. In response, these narco-terrorist groups seek to intimidate us and believe that we will yield to their demands. “

“I have presented clear and precise provisions to the military and police commanders for intervention in the control of prisons. I have just signed a state of emergency order so that the actions of the armed forces receive all political and legal support,” the president explained.

Noboa said: “I appeal to the citizens, who also give their support because this fight belongs to everyone. The examples we are experiencing show that the situation in this country must change and that the laws we have now are not enough to maintain a peaceful life, Therefore, there is no room for opportunistic politicians who seek credit at the expense of the prison security crisis. “We will not negotiate with terrorists and we will not rest until we bring peace to all Ecuadorians. “

Adolfo Macías, alias “Fito”, leader of Los Choneros (Europa Press)

Prosecutors filed the indictment on Monday Two prison guards suspected of dangerous drug trafficking kingpin’s escapeBefore being transferred to a maximum security prison, the case was criticized by the Ecuadorian government for a lack of control over the prison system and insecurity in the country.

No government authorities have mentioned “flight” in reference to the disappearance of Adolfo Macias, also known as “Fito,” who was considered the leader of “Los Choneros,” one of Ecuador’s major organized crime groups. One, authorities believe the group has ties to Mexico. Sinaloa Cartel.

In the words of police commander César Zapata, the prisoner was found “not in” his cell on Sunday as he was preparing to be transferred to Guayaquil’s maximum-security La Roca prison. inside.

On Sunday night, police confirmed that after a large joint operation deployed with the military in the early morning hours, agents reported that Fito was not in his cell at the so-called regional prison, part of a prison complex in the suburbs. Guayaquil is located about 270 kilometers southwest of Quito.

The capo is serving a 34-year sentence there. drug traffickingorganized crime and homicide.

The disappearance of Alias ​​”Fito” from prison has increased pressure on the government of President Noboa, who took office a month and a half ago and won the presidency through promises The fight to end insecurity in Ecuador is quickly bearing fruit.

The president has been in office for just a year and a half, winning snap elections called by former President Guillermo Lasso.

For the third consecutive year, Ecuador set a new homicide record, with nearly 7,600 violent deaths for the year. In 2022, that number was 4,600, while in 2021, it was just over 2,100.

The prison agency also confirmed that minor incidents have occurred in different prisons in the past hours, from the provinces of El Oro, Loja, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Azuay and Pichincha (the capital is Quito) prison guards were detained.

If this is confirmed to be a prison break, it wouldn’t be the first time Macias, 44, has evaded security at an Ecuadorian prison. In 2013, he escaped with 17 prisoners from the high-security “La Roca” prison, where he had been held since 2011 and was due to be transferred there on Sunday morning.

The Los Choneros gang operated until 2020 under the command of Jorge Luis Zambrano, alias “Rasquiña”, whose murder sparked a bloody war inside and outside prisons with other criminal groups seeking to gain international Occupying power spaces in drug trafficking.

According to authorities, Fito has been incarcerated for the past 12 years, but that has not stopped him from continuing to direct criminal organizations dedicated to drug trafficking, robbery, extortion and other criminal activities.

He faced 14 judicial prosecutions, including murder and organized crime, and was sentenced to a total of 34 years in prison, the maximum allowed under Ecuadorian law.

(Information from the Associated Press)

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