Street fighting took over Ecuador: the military was ordered to neutralize 22 criminal groups
Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa introduced a regime of “internal armed conflict” in the country and ordered the army to neutralize 22 criminal groups that took hostages in different cities of the country. There are currently street battles going on.
Chaos in the country arose after the escape from prison of two of the most dangerous gang leaders in Ecuador. So, on January 7, the leader of the Los Choneros gang, nicknamed Fito, escaped. After this, riots occurred in several prisons. On January 8, Noboa declared a state of emergency in the country and imposed a curfew, and on January 9, the army received orders to “neutralize” criminal gangs numbering tens of thousands of members.
The head of the joint command of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces, Jaime Vela Erazo, declared these criminals military targets and stated that there would be no negotiations with them.
The Ecuadorian Armed Forces have deployed military machinery to the center of the capital Quito. There are armored vehicles on the streets of the historical part of the city. The military places equipment in strategically important locations. Previously, cases of looting were reported in the city center, and on the night of January 9, criminals burned cars and buses; explosions of improvised explosive devices were recorded in Guayaquil.