Almost 2,000 rioters detained in Ecuador since start of gang-instigated disorder

Ecuador’s armed forces and police have detained a total of 1,975 participants in the street riots that were sparked by recent gang-fueled unrest in the South American country’s prisons, the government of President Daniel Noboa announced in a statement, News.Az reports citing TASS. 

"From January 9 to January 17, 2024, the Armed Forces detained 1,975 people nationwide, 158 of them on charges of terrorism," the Ecuadorian government reported on its account on social network X (formerly Twitter).

In the framework of the anti-terrorist operation, Ecuador’s security forces, totaling more than 20,000 people, seized almost 700 firearms, about 500 explosive devices and more than six tons of narcotic substances.

Meanwhile, the number of police and correctional officers freed from gang captivity remains constant. Altogether, 212 law enforcement officers that had been held hostage by gang-affiliated rioters have been released.

The security situation in Ecuador deteriorated sharply on January 7 after Jose Adolfo Macias Villamar, leader of the Los Choneros gang who is known by the alias "Fito," escaped from prison, prompting riots to break out in several correctional institutions. On January 8, Noboa declared a state of emergency in the country and imposed a curfew.



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