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Ecuador declares a state of emergency

President Noboa has declared a state of emergency due to widespread violence in prisons and the escape of a drug lord in Ecuador. It is initially valid for 60 days.

In view of the conditions in the overcrowded prisons in Ecuador, the government of the South American country has declared a state of emergency. “I have just signed a decree on a state of emergency to give the armed forces the political and legal backing for their actions,” Noboa said. The state of emergency includes the deployment of the military on the streets and in prisons as well as a nationwide nighttime curfew. The state of emergency applies for 60 days.

An escape and “incidents” with rival Gangs

Ecuador’s penitentiary agency announced Monday that there had been “incidents” with rival gangs in six of the country’s overcrowded prisons. According to the prison administration, the head of the powerful gang “Los Choneros”, Adolfo Macías alias “Fito”, apparently managed to escape from prison, where he is serving a 34-year sentence.

Noboa took office as president in November with a promise to address increasing violence in the South American country. Noboa wrote on Instagram that he would not rest until he had “brought peace to all Ecuadorians.” His government is determined to confront crimes in prisons.

Ecuador is struggling with increasing violence

Previous governments had already imposed a state of emergency in recent years to increase security, but without much success. The South American country with around 18 million inhabitants is struggling with increasing violence and the growing influence of drug cartels. Hundreds of prisoners were killed in clashes in prisons alone.

The Los Choneros drug cartel is among the gangs that authorities blame for a sharp rise in violence in Ecuador, which reached new heights last year with the bloody assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. The gang also has ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.

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