Ecuador’s President Declares State of Emergency After Arm-ed Men Hi-jack TV Live-Broadcast
Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa has declared an “internal armed conflict” in the country, ordering security forces to “neutralize” several criminal groups accused of spreading extreme violence in the Latin American nation.
The decree came immediately after armed men attacked and took over a live-broadcast television
Ecuadorians were left stunned when the live broadcast was taken over by the armed men, who yelled violently and told the staff to lie down on the floor.
Ecuadorian police said they have arrested the assailants without the loss of human life, neither of the staff, hostages, or assailants. The TV network is back under state control.
At least four firearms, two grenades, and “explosive material” were recovered and 13 people were apprehended, César Zapata, General Commander of the National Police, said. The perpetrators would be brought to justice for their “acts of terrorism,” he added.
Chaos has broken out all over the capital, Quito, as cartels and armed men attacked people and police in the capital city, leading to the declaration of a state of emergency that will last for 60 days.
Video clips on social media have already shown soldiers mounted on armored vehicles patrolling the city and arresting armed men
The violence and chaos also spread to different cities, where 10 people were arrested after three kidnapped police officers were freed in the southwest city of Machala, National Police said Tuesday night.
Earlier, police said at least seven officers had been taken captive in three cities since the state of emergency was announced.
The state of emergency includes a curfew which means: From 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., to restrict meetings and actions that may threaten public order.
Noboa’s beleaguered predecessor, former President Guillermo Lasso, instated several states of emergency with limited success.
The decree signed by Noboa on Tuesday declared the country was in an “internal armed conflict” and ordered armed forces to carry out military operations to “neutralize” armed groups identified as terrorists.
Ecuador’s violence problem has been fueled by cartel groups who wish to control drug routes and also streets and prisons.
The prison chaos resulted in one of the top cartel leaders escaping, according to mayor John Vinueza in the central city of Riobamba.
The government is still holding an emergency to generate concrete plans to deal with this violence and to deter it in the future as gang leaders try to run the streets and country.