Masked men stormed a public television channel in Ecuadorbrandishing weapons and explosives during a live broadcast yesterday, Tuesday, while at least 10 people were killed in the war against gangs in the country.
The gunmen entered the TC Television network's camera station in the city of Guayaquil during a news program that was being shown live in thousands of homes across the country, and shouted that they had bombs.
While no one was killed in the attack, the authorities announced the arrest of all 13 intruders, and they will be charged with terrorism. The authorities did not announce the identity of the perpetrators behind the storming of the television station, or the series of other attacks that shook the country recently.
Shortly after the militants stormed the station, President Daniel Noboa issued a decree designating 20 gangs operating in the drug trade in the country as terrorist groups, and authorizing the armed forces to disrupt them according to limits. International humanitarian law.
The President of Ecuador also ordered the activation and intervention of the Armed Forces and the National Police to ensure the sovereignty and unity of Ecuador in the face of organized crime and terrorist organizations.
The day before Monday, Noboa declared a state of emergency throughout Ecuador, including prisons, after the country's most dangerous gang leader, nicknamed “Vito,” escaped from prison last Sunday, and riots and disobedience occurred in several prisons.
In the same context, at least 10 people were killed, including two policemen, in the conflict waged by the security forces and the army in Ecuador against drug gangs.
A Guayaquil police official said that 8 people were killed and 3 wounded in this coastal city located in the southwest of the country, which is a stronghold for drug gangs.
The National Police announced in a post on the “X” platform that two of its members were killed by armed criminals in the neighboring city of Nopol. These statistics were published shortly after Noboa issued a decree confirming that the country was facing an “internal armed conflict.”
Yesterday, Tuesday, officials announced that another gang leader, Fabricio Colon Pico of the Los Lobos group, had escaped from a prison in the city of Riobamba. But he was quickly arrested on Friday during an investigation into kidnappings, and accused of attempting to kill one of the country's main prosecutors.
In recent years, these gangs have grown stronger after Ecuador became a major export point for cocaine produced in neighboring Peru and Colombia.