Ecuador’s president wants to stop criminal gangs after a lot of violence and an attack on a TV studio.
Armed people wearing masks entered TC public TV channel’s live studio while it was on air, and made the staff lie down on the floor.
The police arrested 13 people after the attack and two workers got hurt.
At least 10 people died since a state of emergency started in Ecuador on Monday.
An emergency was announced because a dangerous criminal escaped from his prison cell. It’s not clear if the incident at the TV studio in Guayaquil is connected to the disappearance of Adolfo Macías Villamar, also known as Fito, the Choneros gang boss, from a prison in the same city.
On Tuesday, President Noboa said that there is a war happening inside the country. He is sending the military to stop crime and terrorism.
The government of Peru sent police to the border quickly to stop any trouble from coming into the country.
The US is against the bold attacks in Ecuador. They are working closely with President Daniel Noboa and his government and are ready to help.
Ecuador sends out lots of bananas to other countries. They also sell oil, coffee, cocoa, shrimps, and fish products to other places. An increase in fighting and violence in the Andean country, both in and outside of its prisons, is because of battles between drug gangs from different countries and local ones. They are fighting to control the routes for bringing cocaine to the US and Europe.
On Tuesday, during the attack at the TV station, a person with a shotgun pointed it at the head of one of the captives. The captive was also threatened with a revolver.
According to the AFP news agency, a woman was begging not to be shot, and someone else was heard screaming in pain.
A TC employee sent a message on WhatsApp saying that someone came in to hurt us. “Please, God, don’t let this happen. ” The criminals are on the run.
A cameraman got shot in the leg, and another one broke his arm in the attack, according to the deputy news director.
“Producers told us through our earpieces to be careful because someone was trying to enter, steal and mug us,” said Jorge Rendon to Reuters news agency.
“The doors in the studio are really thick, almost like they can stop bullets. They were trying to get in because they wanted to enter the studio and make us say whatever they wanted us to say,” he explained.
The police said that they arrested the suspects and posted a video of them and their weapons on social media. They also said that the suspects would be punished for their terrorist acts.
President Noboa made a decision to declare a state of emergency in response to a series of riots and escapes from prisons, as well as other violent activities that were caused by criminal gangs.
He made a law that included the Choneros and 21 other gangs. The Choneros are named after the town of Chone in Manabi Province.
The order was made because of a state of emergency and it means there will be a curfew at night to stop the violence after Fito’s escape. The police are working to calm down the situation in six jails where there were fights on Monday.
On Tuesday, in Guayaquil, eight people were killed and three were hurt in attacks by criminal gangs. In the nearby town of Nobol, two police officers were also killed by armed criminals.
In Riobamba, a city in Ecuador, about 40 prisoners, including a drug lord, escaped from jail.
At least seven police officers were taken by force and there is a video going around on social media that shows three of the kidnapped officers sitting on the ground with a gun pointed at them. In the video, one of the officers is being made to read a statement directed to President Noboa, according to AFP.
The officer said, “If you start a war, you’ll have to deal with a war. ” You said there is an emergency. We say that police, civilians, and soldiers are the things that are taken as a result of war.
The police told everyone to leave the government building in Quito because they are worried about safety.
People in Quito told Reuters that the city was very chaotic after they heard about the attack at the TV station in Guayaquil.
Mario Urena said there are too many people feeling nervous in the city. “People are leaving work earlier. ” All the people are going away, there is a lot of traffic and alarms all around. There is a lot of confusion.
Some people in Cuenca were surprised when they saw the TV station taken over. They told AFP about their shock.
Francisco Rosas said that in Ecuador, they have never seen something like a channel being taken over and a show starting with shootings and kidnappings. “How safe are we right now. If a TV station can be robbed, then restaurants and shops are also at risk. ”
In the last few years, the prisons in the country have had a lot of fighting between gangs. This has led to many prisoners being killed in gang fights.
The Choneros are a tough gang in prison that is believed to be responsible for a lot of the violent fights and riots in Ecuador’s jails.
Fito is believed to have run away just hours before he was supposed to move. Two prison guards have been arrested for possibly helping him to get away.
His getting away also hurts the government of President Noboa. He became president in November after winning an election that was affected by the killing of presidential candidate and journalist Fernando Villavicencio.
Before he was killed while leaving a campaign event in Quito, Villavicencio had told people that he was getting death threats from Fito.