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International News: In Ecuador, Soldiers patrol roads as violence explodes 

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2024. 3:17 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to patrol streets in Ecuador’s capital as the Government has declared war on violent gangs.

Ecuador has been plunged into crisis after years of growing control by transnational cartels who use its ports to ship cocaine to the U.S. and Europe.

Belmopan Aggregates

On Tuesday, Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa gave orders to “neutralize” criminal gangs after gunmen stormed and opened fire in a TV studio.

President Noboa also declared the country in a state of “internal armed conflict.”

In response, criminals also declared war on the government when Noboa announced the state of emergency following the prison escape of Los Choneros drug cartel boss ‘Fito’ on Sunday.

Ten people have reportedly been killed in a series of attacks by gangs.

Gangsters also kidnapped several police officers, one of whom was forced at gunpoint to read a statement addressed to Noboa.

“You declared a state of emergency. We declare police, civilians and soldiers to be the spoils of war,” the visibly terrified officer read.

Meanwhile, Brian Nichols, the top US diplomat for Latin America, said Washington was “extremely concerned” by the violence and kidnappings, and pledged to provide assistance and to “remain in close contact” with Noboa’s team.

 

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