Security forces stand guard outside of Carondelet Palace in Quito on January 10, 2024, as Ecuador remains in a state of emergency following the escape from prison of a dangerous narco boss. Ecuador’s president Daniel Noboa gave orders on Tuesday to “neutralize” criminal gangs after gunmen stormed and opened fire in a TV studio, as bandits threatened random executions on a second day of terror in the country. Gangs declared war on the government after Noboa announced a state of emergency following the prison escape on January 7 of one of Ecuador’s most powerful narco bosses.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa on Wednesday loosened up the state of emergency across the country by lifting a curfew in 160 cantons to normalize everyday life undermined by the recent surge in gang violence, but 38 cantons, including Quito and the largest city of Guayaquil, remain in the red zone of high risk. “I have just signed a decree to make a curfew more flexible across the country. This restriction has been lifted in 160 out of 221 cantons. I attach a relevant list of the national police so that you can learn more about the situation in every canton,” the president wrote on X. The decision was made on the basis of reports on the developments in each canton separately, the Ecuadorian presidency said in a statement, adding that of the 61 cantons where a night curfew still persists, 38 had been united in the red area of high risk, and another 23 — in the yellow area of the medium risk. The night curfew remains in full effect, in particular, in such cities as Guayaquil, Quito, Machala, Duran and Esmeraldas. AnalysisGang Violence, Bad Economics & CIA Asset as President? What’s Behind Ecuador’s Crisis20 January, 02:25 GMTIn early January, violent unrest erupted in Ecuador after two gang leaders escaped from a Guayaquil prison. On January 8, Noboa declared a state of emergency to activate the armed forces. On the night of January 9, criminals started burning cars and buses, as well as exploding improvised bombs. Several police officers were kidnapped. Gunmen also burst into the headquarters of the TC Television broadcaster, but were later detained. Following the developments, Noboa declared a state of an internal armed conflict in the country and ordered the army to neutralize 22 criminal groups numbering tens of thousands of members.