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At least 10 dead in Ecuador gang violence

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-01-10 09:06

A police officer frisks a man after Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa declared a 60-day state of emergency following the disappearance of Adolfo Macias, leader of the Los Choneros criminal gang, from the prison where he was serving a 34-year sentence, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Jan 9, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

QUITO - At least 10 dead in Ecuador gang violence, local police said. 

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa on Tuesday declared "internal armed conflict" and mobilized the army to combat organized crime linked to drug trafficking, following an escalation in violence in the South American country.

"I have signed the executive decree declaring Internal Armed Conflict," the president posted on social media, along with the document.

The text shows Noboa called on the armed forces to carry out military operations, under international humanitarian law and with respect for human rights, to fight transnational criminal organizations operating in Ecuador.

He ordered the deployment of troops and police officers throughout the country to guarantee sovereignty and territorial integrity against transnational organized crime.

The decree identified the following criminal rings as terrorist organizations and belligerent non-state actors: "Aguilas, AguilasKiller, Ak47, Caballeros Oscuros, ChoneKiller, Choneros, Corvicheros, Cuartel de las Feas, Cubanos, Fatales, Ganster, Kater Piler, Lagartos, Latin Kings, Los Lobos, Los p.27, Los Tiburones, Mafia 18, Mafia Trebol, Patrones, R7 and Tiguerones."

The list is to be updated, the document added.

Ecuador's government declared a 60-day state of emergency on Monday with a nighttime curfew to quell violence in cities and inside prisons.

Tuesday's measure followed a day of riots and disturbances at several prisons, including a prison break that saw 39 inmates escape from a facility in the Andean city of Riobamba and the shocking armed takeover of a television station in Guayaquil in mid-broadcast.

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