“I would like to see them more often…”

AFP

Ecuador: Prosecutor investigating hostage taking on TV set murdered

The prosecutor in charge of investigating the Jan. 9 rampage by armed men on the set of Ecuador’s public television channel was murdered on Wednesday, while the country remains under a state of emergency in its “war” against drug trafficking. the gang. According to the prosecution, the prosecutor murdered in Guayaquil (south-west) was responsible for determining which gang had carried out the attack. In photographs obtained by AFP, we see several bullet holes that passed through the driver’s side window, although apparently armored. “In response to the murder of our ally César Suárez (…) I will say clearly: organized crime groups, criminals and terrorists will not stop our commitment to Ecuadorian society,” Attorney General Diana Salazar said in a video. Posted on X. Defense Minister Gian Carlo Loffredo said in a statement that his government “rejects any form of violence as a response to conflict as we know it.” “We reaffirm the government’s strong commitment to supporting the administration of justice,” he said. – Live – The shocking images of heavily armed, hooded, journalists and staff being forced to the ground under threat to TC Channel in Guayaquil have traveled around the world. “They came to kill us, O God protect us,” one of the captive journalists said in a WhatsApp message to an AFP correspondent. Complaints were heard in the background. Amidst the sound of gunfire, the lights on the set were turned off and Despite the cameras being turned off, these surreal images continued to be broadcast live for several minutes. Thanks to the quick intervention of the police it was possible to end the hostage taking without any casualties and arrest thirteen of the attackers. One of the hostage journalists. “I was shocked by their inexperience,” he told AFP. “On the inside, they were just kids.” This is confirmed by the presentation to the press of the arrested and handcuffed group members. According to authorities, they were 16 to 25. Some images stick in the memory: the signs made by the attackers to boast of their gang in front of the cameras, or the gun held to the temple of an unfortunate reporter. – Prosecutor in the crosshairs – This attack on the television set a few days The first was the climax in a series of violence that began with the escape of Adolfo Macias, alias “Fito”, the dangerous leader of the Choneros gang. Several revolts and hostage-taking of guards affected prisons, and on the streets of Guayaquil or the capital Quito, gangs spread terror by targeting police with explosions or shootings. To restore order, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has declared the country “at war” against the gangs and dispatched more than 20,000 people. Soldiers in the field. At least 19 people have been killed in violence in the country. Prosecutors face a threat from twenty criminal organizations operating in Ecuador, once a haven of peace that has been ravaged by violence after becoming the main export point for cocaine produced in neighboring states Peru and Colombia. In June, prosecutor Leonardo Palacios was killed by armed men in the city of Duran, neighboring Guayaquil. Diana Salazar reported direct death threats from Los Lobos, one of the main criminal organizations, whose leader, Fabricio Colón Picole, had also escaped prison the previous day. Week. Ecuador’s justice is attacking criminals, but also corruption related to drug trafficking, which is also included in state secrets. The so-called “Metastasis” case in Ecuador, is “the largest in history against corruption and drug trafficking”. Prosecutors came to light at the end of the year about a “criminal structure” involving prosecutors, prison officials and police officers “whose purpose was to achieve impunity and freedom for those prosecuted or convicted” as well. It was to include prohibited items. Jail. Leaders were also targeted. At the end of 2023, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio in Quito and Agustín Intriago, mayor of Manta (West), one of the country’s main cities, were also killed by criminals.das/arm/lab/jnd

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