Ecuador arrests hundreds in bid to halt eruption of gang-based violence

January 15, 2024

CNN —Nearly 900 people have been arrested in Ecuador since Tuesday in a national security operation to stop an outburst of gang violence, Ecuador’s presidency said. The presidency says 94 of the 859 people detained are members of what they call “terrorist” groups. Ecuador has been rocked by blasts, police kidnappings and prison disturbances in a wave of violence beginning with the prison escape of one of Ecuador’s most powerful drug lords last weekend. The violence was triggered by the escape of high-profile gang leader Adolfo “Fito” Macías from a prison in Guayaquil on Sunday. Following Fito’s escape and the declaration, Ecuador’s prison agency reported incidents in at least six prisons in different provinces on Sunday.