How do the gangs dedicated to drug trafficking govern here?

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How do the gangs dedicated to drug trafficking govern here?

The Latin American country of Ecuador is suffering these days from an “internal armed conflict” and given the deterioration of the public order situation in the country, President Daniel Noboa has announced the implementation of a 60-day emergency in the country on Monday and La Paz. is establishing itself in the country. The army has been called in to preserve it.

President Nobua stated on Tuesday that there is an “internal armed conflict” in the country and called on the army to carry out a “military operation to end it.”

President Nobua’s decision to call in the army was prompted by the sudden disappearance of a famous gangster from a maximum security prison and subsequently armed men stormed a television station and took his staff hostage during a live broadcast. And it has arrived after threats.

There have also been reports of armed gangs attempting to force their way into universities and other government institutions and looting many places.

After the President declared a state of emergency, there have been serious incidents of kidnapping of police officers in six main prisons in the country and escapes of leaders of two large criminal groups.

Masked gunmen broke into a live television studio in Ecuador and threatened a terrified crew. The employees were forced to lie on the ground during a broadcast by a public television channel in the city of Guayaquil before the live broadcast of the television broadcast ended.

The attackers were later seen leaving the studio with several hostages. While the police have claimed to have arrested several people. It is not clear, however, if the incident that occurred at the Guayaquil television studio was related to the disappearance from prison of Adolfo Mathías Villamar alias Feto, head of the Choneros mafia, from a prison in the same city.

Due to the deteriorating situation in Ecuador, the government of the neighboring country of Peru has ordered the immediate deployment of a police force to the border to prevent instability in the country.

The United States has said it condemns the “open attacks” in Ecuador and is “fully cooperating” with President Daniel Noboa and his government and is “willing to provide assistance.”

In Tuesday’s attack on the television studio, a masked gunman was seen threatening detained staff with a rifle and revolver, while a woman was also heard pleading for her not to shoot.

Separately, around 40 inmates, including another convicted drug gang leader, escaped from a prison in Riobamba on Tuesday morning.

At least seven police officers were kidnapped in the incident and a video circulating on social media showed three of the kidnapped officers forced to sit on the ground and read a statement to President Nobua.

In a statement to the President on behalf of the criminals, it was said: “You declared war, you will get war, you declared a state of emergency.” We call police, civilians and soldiers war assets.’

Residents of the Ecuadorian city of Quito told Reuters the city was in chaos following news of an attack on a television station in Guayaquil.

In recent years, the country’s prisons have been plagued by violent disputes between imprisoned members of rival criminal gangs, often resulting in massacres of inmates.

The Chuneros are a powerful prison gang believed to be behind many of the deadly riots that have broken out in Ecuadorian prisons in recent years.

Ecuador is one of the largest exporters of bananas in the world, but it also exports oil, coffee, cocoa, shrimp and fishing products. The recent wave of violence in the country is linked to a battle between local and foreign drug cartels for control of cocaine routes to the United States and Europe.

Here we examine some of the main reasons that can help understand the serious crisis of violence and insecurity that Ecuador faces today.

Ecuador suffers a serious security crisis and the situation has worsened in the last three years.

In 2023, 7,878 murders were recorded in the country, the highest number in the history of Ecuador, while only 584 cases were solved.

The country has become a major regional center for drug storage, processing and trafficking, with more than 20 organized crime groups operating here.

These criminal gangs, which have their command centers and operations in prisons, are linked to the main drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia.

Some gangs known as Chuneros, Lobos, Lagartos or Tigurones are well known and are involved in Ecuador’s internal conflicts or violence in the government, institutions and society.

In August of last year, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was murdered by hitmen and the crime is still unsolved, but many analysts believe that one of these criminal groups was involved in the operation.

Ecuadorian political analyst Andrés Chiribuga told the BBC: “These and other crimes show that gangs have largely controlled the country for some time and have paralyzed the country’s political system.”

He also says that a problem is that thanks to drug trafficking money, these gangs are everywhere and their hideouts and roots have not only spread to all corners of Ecuador, but through corruption they have also affected the institutions. governmental. Is your controller fixed?

“An important factor is its integration not only in the population but also in many institutions, including the police and the armed forces,” explains Andrés Cheribuga.

gangs
gangs

“This alone can explain the escape of the leaders of these mafia gangs from prison, such as the recent escape of the famous leader Fatu of the Chuneros gang,” he says.

It should be remembered that the leader of the criminal gang Los Choneros had been serving a 34-year sentence for organized crime, drug trafficking and murder since 2011, but he suddenly disappeared from prison two days ago.

Reaction to the presidency of the newly elected President Nobua gangs

Daniel Nubua came to power on November 23, 2023 and it has been almost two months since he assumed the presidency, but he has not had time to implement his manifesto in the country due to the security situation.

He won majority support during the election campaign with a promise to focus on Ecuador’s economy and especially security. However, he has so far presented himself as a moderate politician and has taken measures aimed at weakening criminal gangs.

He promised to promote important prison reforms, with a segregation system that would allow the most violent and dangerous inmates to be isolated.

In his latest initiative, they have also attempted to establish floating prisons in the sea off the coast to hold dangerous criminals and prevent their activities from the prison and isolate them from the outside world.

Noboa wants to criminalize small-scale drug use, create a jury system for serious crimes and invest in technological advances such as drones and radars to crack down on organized crime on the streets and on the border.

To further his anti-crime plan, the president announced last week his intention to call a referendum to legalize the imposition of tougher security measures.

According to many analysts, Nobua’s intentions and proposals are one of the main reasons for the gangs’ response.

“The drug trafficking mafias have reacted to show that they are capable of laying siege to democracy,” says Cheribuga.

Chiribuga believes that the state of emergency imposed by the president following the escape of ‘Fetu’ and the subsequent riots has contributed to the takeover of the television channel, as well as the reaction of organized crime groups.

“Your order from him seems to have encouraged the war that the mafia groups are fueling,” he claims.

He adds that Nuboa has responded without major reforms, like former presidents Guillermo Lasso and Lennon Moreno, in an attempt to show power, and the reaction of these groups has been “hold on a little, we will show you who’s boss.” here.’

The US State Department estimated in 2019 that a third of Colombia’s cocaine passes through Ecuador before heading to North America and Europe.

In recent years, the country’s importance in the international cocaine market has strengthened, bordering Colombia and Peru. The change in the situation is marked by the high number of drug seizures, the rapid discovery of laboratories and, above all, the extraordinary increase in violence.

Increasingly powerful criminal groups, including the Lobos, Chuneros or Tiguerones, have strong ties to drug trafficking gangs.

In general, Ecuadorian criminal groups are isolated and operate as subcontractors for foreign criminal cartels.

Ecuador became more important in the international drug market after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) became inactive as a result of a peace agreement with Colombia.

Dissident groups of the FARC and other drug trafficking organizations expanded the cocaine production and supply business, which was joined by mafia groups from Ecuador.

These groups, which operate mainly in the Colombian departments of Nariño and Potomayo, on the border with Ecuador, are linked to Mexican cartels and other European organizations.

According to experts, the participation of various criminal groups from different countries in this way generates a kind of regional conflict and an increase in violence in Ecuador.

Among these groups, two Mexican cartels also stand out. One of them is the Sinaloa Cartel, which is believed to have started operating in Ecuador around 2003 and the other is the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

The Chuneros gang works with the Sinaloa cartel, while the Labos, Tagrones Gor Lagartos gang calls itself an ally of the Jalisco cartel.

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