Home Breaking News Ecuador Declares 60-Day State of Emergency as Notorious Gang Leader ‘Fito’ Escapes Maximum Security Prison

Ecuador Declares 60-Day State of Emergency as Notorious Gang Leader ‘Fito’ Escapes Maximum Security Prison

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Ecuador Declares 60-Day State of Emergency as Notorious Gang Leader ‘Fito’ Escapes Maximum Security Prison

Ecuador has plunged into a 60-day state of emergency following the mysterious disappearance of Adolfo Macías Villamar, widely known as “Fito,” the notorious leader of the powerful gang Los Choneros, from his maximum-security prison cell in Guayaquil. President Daniel Noboa issued a decree outlining emergency measures, including the suspension of the right of assembly and the imposition of a nightly curfew, aiming to restore control amid rising concerns over gang-related violence.

Adolfo Macías Villamar: Curfew in Ecuador after infamous gang leader 'Fito'  vanishes from cell - BBC News

Fito’s gang, Los Choneros, has been linked to deadly prison riots in recent months, contributing to an escalating security crisis in the country. The state of emergency empowers the military and police to assume control of prisons at a national level, a response to the control exerted by Los Choneros over La Regional prison, where Fito was held.

President Noboa emphasized that the emergency measures are essential to counteract “narco-terrorist groups” attempting to intimidate the nation. He declared an uncompromising stance, stating, “We will not negotiate with terrorists, and we will not rest until we have restored peace.”

Ecuador Declares 60-Day State of Emergency

Fito, a notorious figure suspected of involvement in the assassination of another candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, had been incarcerated in the maximum-security wing. His disappearance was discovered by police on Sunday, triggering a massive search operation within the prison compound.

Fito’s audacious actions, including the release of a “narcocorrido” music video glorifying his criminal exploits, have defied authorities. The video, partially recorded inside the jail, features Fito’s daughter, known as Queen Michelle, praising her father as a “man of honor.”

Adolfo Macías Villamar: Curfew in Ecuador after infamous gang leader 'Fito'  vanishes from cell

The security breach has raised questions about the ban on electronic devices inside the prison, as the video suggests a violation of this restriction. Authorities remain uncertain about Fito’s current whereabouts, and a police commander neither confirmed nor denied the escape, stating that hundreds of officers are scouring the prison for clues.

La Regional jail, where Fito has spent much of his past 12 years behind bars, is part of a vast prison compound housing over 12,000 inmates. Fito’s previous escape in 2013, along with 17 other inmates, highlights the challenges authorities face in securing the facility.

With Los Choneros engaged in drug trafficking and extortion, and having established links with Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, the escape of their leader poses a significant threat to Ecuador’s efforts to combat organized crime. The nation remains on high alert as law enforcement intensifies efforts to locate and apprehend the fugitive gang leader.

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