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News > Ecuador

Ecuadorian Armed Forces Arrest 329 Terrorists and Kill 5

  • Ecuadorian army patrols the streets of the country, Jan. 10, 2023.

    Ecuadorian army patrols the streets of the country, Jan. 10, 2023. | Photo: X/ @PabloIglesias

Published 11 January 2024

The U.S. will support the fight against drug trafficking by granting Ecuador military equipment in exchange for the delivery of Russian equipment to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Rear Admiral Jaime Vela, the head of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces' Joint Command, made a first assessment of the operations carried out on the first day of the "internal armed conflict" against criminal organizations linked to international drug trafficking.


Venezuelan President Rejects Terrorist Acts in Ecuador

"We have arrested 329 terrorists, we have killed five terrorists," he said and confirmed that the drug traffickers murdered two police officers and seriously injured another.

In the last 48 hours, security forces managed to free 41 people who were kidnapped and captured 28 inmates who had escaped. To date, however, 139 prison guards are still kidnapped by prisoners inside five Ecuadorian prisons. None of them have been killed.

Rear Admiral Vela indicated that the military operations have been oriented, above all, against gangs such as Tiguerones, the Wolves and the Choneros. The military forces have not suffered casualties in these actions.

On Wednesday, President Daniel Noboa announced that the U.S. will give Ecuador new military equipment in exchange for the Soviet-made weapons still used by the Ecuadorian Army.

"There will be an exchange of Russian and Ukrainian scrap metal for modern equipment and technology worth US$200 million," he said during his first appearance since he issued a decree defining local drug cartels as "terrorist organizations."

Currently, the Ecuadorian army has 11 Mi-17 helicopters, 18 Grad MLRS units, 10 BTR-60 armored personnel carriers, dozens of air defense systems and MANPADS of Soviet and Russian manufacture. This equipment will be delivered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


Daniel Noboa
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