One day after Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency after a drug lord escaped, a TV studio was attacked by hooded gunmen on live television.
On Tuesday, live television images broadcasted individuals wearing balaclavas, with some waving guns inside a Guayaquil television station. The gunmen were telling the studio to lie down on the flooring, shouting “bombs” with gunshot noises appearing in the background.
NOW – Gunmen storm Ecuador television studio, take hostages.https://t.co/9WRpGXL08y
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) January 9, 2024
Before the broadcast fee was cut, some of the gunmen could be heard shouting, “No police!” On Tuesday, the national police said they had units deployed to the TV studio before showing images of their officers surrounding the building.
Later on Tuesday, the attorney general’s office commented they had 13 individuals in custody for breaking into the studio with a weapon, stating they’d be charged with terrorist offenses. According to National police commander Cesar Zepata, police seized many explosives and guns.
On Tuesday, to boost security, Peru declared a state of emergency and ordered a deployment of police to its border.
“I am still in shock. Everything has collapsed. All I know is that it’s time to leave this country and go very far away,” Alina Manrique, the head of news for TC Television, said.
The shocking events came only a day after President Noboa declared a 60-day state of emergency after the escape of the country’s most notorious drug lords. Since then, seven police officers have been kidnapped, along with explosions across the country.
President Noboa took office in November, promising to put a stop to drug-related violence in their prisons and on the streets.
The notorious drug lord and gang leader was reported missing from his prison cell on Sunday. He is serving a 34-year sentence for murder and drug trafficking. According to reports, the gang leader escaped on the same day he was scheduled to be transported to a maximum security prison.
Two guards are facing charges by prosecutors relating to their involvement in the prison escape.
The Los Choneros gang is one of the top gangs responsible for the uptick in violence since the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio.