2 cops killed, jail guards taken hostage in Ecuador gang violence3 min read
In response to a switch of inmates, organised crime teams in Equador launched 9 assaults with explosives and firearms, killing two cops and injuring two extra.
The Ecuadoran cities of Guayaquil and Esmeraldas have been hit by a sequence of assaults Tuesday in an escalating gang conflict. (Photo: AFP)
By Agence France-Presse: Two cops have been killed, two extra wounded and jail guards taken hostage Tuesday within the newest wave of assaults in a lethal gang conflict consuming Ecuador, authorities stated. Officials stated organized crime teams launched 9 assaults with explosives and firearms towards police and oil installations in response to a switch of inmates from Guayas 1 jail.
The jail, within the southwestern port metropolis of Guayaquil, is likely one of the major scenes of a sequence of jail massacres which have left about 400 inmates useless since February 2021.
“We have had reactions” of “organized crime” in Guayaquil and within the northwestern oil port of Esmeraldas, Interior Minister Juan Zapata informed reporters within the capital, Quito. These included automotive bomb assaults.
In the early morning hours, two cops died when their patrol automotive was attacked by folks with firearms in Guayaquil, in response to police. A separate assault on a police station there left two officers injured.
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In Esmeraldas — the identical metropolis the place two headless our bodies have been discovered hanging from a pedestrian bridge on Monday — inmates took eight guards hostage, in response to the SNAI jail authority. All have been later freed, it stated, with out giving particulars in regards to the guards’ situation.
A video circulated on Twitter appeared to indicate two guards with explosives tied to their our bodies and a person claiming to be an inmate denouncing what he referred to as jail corruption. AFP couldn’t independently confirm the video. “If war is what they want, war is what they’ll get,” stated the person, his face obscured, including: “We will use these guards.”
‘FIND THE PERPETRATORS’
The SNAI had earlier introduced on Twitter that it was transferring about 200 inmates from the Guayas 1 jail. It stated the transfers have been necessitated by required upkeep to cell blocks.
But in response to the purported hostage video, the transfer was the explanation for the occasions at Esmeraldas. “Given the events in Esmeraldas and GYE (Guayaquil), we activated our tactical and investigative units to maintain order and find the perpetrators,” the police stated on Twitter.
Once a comparatively peaceable neighbor of main cocaine producers Colombia and Peru, Ecuador has seen a wave of violent crime that authorities blame on turf battles between rival drug gangs believed to have ties to Mexican cartels.
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Hundreds of inmates have been killed — many beheaded or incinerated — because the combating spilled into Ecuador’s massively over-populated prisons. Civilians have more and more been caught up within the violence, which has included a spate of automotive bombs.
The violence has claimed 61 police lives since final 12 months.
Ecuador has gone from being a drug transit route in recent times to an vital distribution heart in its personal proper, with the United States and Europe the primary locations.
The homicide price in Ecuador practically doubled in 2021 to 14 per 100,000 inhabitants, and reached 18 per 100,000 between January and October this 12 months. In 2021, regulation enforcement seized a file 210 tons of medication, principally cocaine. So far, this 12 months’s seizures complete 160 tons.
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Nov 2, 2022