GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – Since the Ecuadorian president declared a state of emergency following the prison escape of notorious drug lord Adolfo Macías Villamar, alias “Fito,” at least 10 people have died. Fito leads Los Choneros, a notorious gang with alleged connections to Colombian and Mexican cartels. Reports suggest that Los Choneros not only controls drug trafficking routes from Latin America to the US but is also involved in contract killings, extortion, and is suspected of instigating deadly prison riots in Ecuador in recent months.
Since Fito’s escape, criminal organizations have orchestrated multiple assaults on private, public, and government institutions. In one alarming incident, ABC News reports that masked gunmen stormed a TV studio, brandishing weapons at journalists. The terrifying ordeal unfolded live on national television for 15 minutes.
Amidst the chaos, one assailant’s chilling remark was captured, “We are on air, so you know that you cannot play with the mafia,” as journalists pleaded, “Don’t shoot!” with hands raised. Fortunately, no deaths occurred during the TV station attack, and authorities have arrested 13 people, accused of organizing the attack. However, this incident occurred in the wake of a series of other deadly attacks and abductions of police officers.