Armed riots in Ecuador.

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Yesterday, on 9 January, armed men spread unrest in several places in Ecuador. An armed man entered the studio during a live broadcast on a television station and started harassing the television crew. The scene was captured on television cameras and broadcast, leaving many viewers stunned. The gunman ordered the crew to lie on the ground.

The President of Ecuador made a statement on his Twitter handle shortly after the incident

“I have signed the executive decree declaring Internal Armed Conflict and identified the following transnational organized crime groups as terrorist organizations and belligerent non-state actors: Águilas, ÁguilasKiller, Ak47, Caballeros Oscuros, ChoneKiller, Choneros, Covicheros, Cuartel de las Feas, Cubanos, Fatales, Gangster, Kater Piler, Lagartos, Latin Kings, Lobos, Los p.27, Los Tiburones, Mafia 18, Mafia Trébol, Patrones, R7, Tiguerones.

I have ordered the Armed Forces to carry out military operations to neutralize these groups.”

Jaime Vela Erazo, head of Ecuador’s Joint Command of the Armed Forces, announced a crackdown on all organizations included in the decree.

“From this moment on, every terrorist group identified in the aforementioned [emergency] decree has become a military target,” Vela Erazo said

The armed men started rioting and abducting policemen and officers. Even after the President declared a state of emergency, 7 police officers were kidnapped in different cities out of which 3 were later released. After the release of the police officers, 10 people who were possibly involved in their abduction were taken into custody by the police.

“Eight people were killed and three injured in attacks linked to criminal gangs in Guayaquil on Tuesday while two police officers were killed by “armed criminals” in the nearby town of Nobol,” Ecuadorean police said.

A video is circulating on social media platforms in which some armed men have captured security personnel and demanded the President of Ecuador stop his campaign against them or they will kill all the security personnel.

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