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News > Country

Ecuador Has Not Lost the War Against Criminal Gangs: Noboa

  • Ecuadorian soldiers in an operation against gangs linked to international drug trafficking, Jan. 2024.

    Ecuadorian soldiers in an operation against gangs linked to international drug trafficking, Jan. 2024. | Photo: X/ @ceprdc

Published 19 January 2024 (8 hours 56 minutes ago)
Opinion

Currently, the Armed Forces are intervening in the fight against criminal organizations linked to drug trafficking.

On Friday, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa assured that Ecuador has not lost the war against criminal gangs but is fighting it.

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Ecuador: More than 1,900 Arrested during Internal Armed Conflict

"This is a war, an internal armed conflict in which we are fighting against 22 groups that have tens of thousands of armed men, who finance themselves with drug trafficking and illegal mining, while they sow terror," he said.

“We have neutralized all the prisons and recovered 170 hostages safe and sound. We are reorganizing these detention centers, taking the criminal leaders out of their comfort zone, and dismantling networks of crime and terrorism,” Noboa highlighted.

Currently, among Ecuador's most wanted criminals is Jose Macias (aka Fito), the leader of the “The Choneros” gang, who escaped from a high-security prison at the beginning of the year. Regarding this citizen, Noboa confirmed that he is being sought internationally.

This week, his family was detected in the Argentine city of Cordova and deported to Guayaquil on Friday. Until now, Fito's fate remains unknown, although it is presumed that he could have fled to Colombia, Peru or Bolivia.

Since it is not ruled out that Fito is hiding in Colombia, Noboa asked President Gustavo Petro to order an intensive search for Fito and maintain cooperation between the security forces of both countries.

Ecuador is living in the midst of a 60-day state of emergency that allows the military to directly participate in the fight against criminal organizations linked to drug trafficking, all of which have been defined as "terrorist organizations."

Despite Noboa's security policies, this Andean country continues to experience acts of violence. On Wednesday, hitmen shot and killed prosecutor Cesar Suarez, who was in charge of investigations related to the raid by an armed group on a TV channel on January 9.

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