Latin Cartel Declares War on the State

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Drug cartels and other criminal organizations have seized an Ecuadorian television studio, declaring war on the state. The staff members were taken hostage, but eventually released when the gunmen were arrested.

Ecuador declared a state of national emergency, sending military forces after organized crime. Cartels have also been declared as terrorists by the president. Fox News says:

Masked gunmen took over a television studio in Ecuador on Tuesday, pointing their weapons at terrified staff and taking them hostage during a live broadcast.

The gunmen infiltrated the studio of TC Television in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where the incident was aired live for about 15 minutes before the signal was cut. Harrowing video was shared on social media that showed several of the masked assailants approaching a man who was pleading for them to deescalate the situation.

The television studio attacks was just one of many across the nation. The real reason was to break out crime lords held in prison. Two separate attacks on prisons, where some guards were taken hostage and executed. Fox News reports:

The government has said at least 30 attacks have taken place since authorities announced that Macías, who goes by the Alias “Fito,” was discovered missing from his cell in a low-security prison Sunday. He was scheduled to be transferred to a maximum-security facility that day.

Ecuadorean officials on Tuesday also announced that another gang leader, Fabricio Colón Pico of the Los Lobos group, had escaped from a prison in the town of Riobamba. Colón Pico was captured on Friday as part of a kidnapping investigation and has also been accused of trying to murder one of the nation’s lead prosecutors.

Latin America is broadly making progress fighting gangs, especially in El Salvador. President Bukele has locked up most MS-13 gangsters, destroying any symbols of gangs including on tombstones. Murders have dropped, making him a popular leader.

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