How ‘The Lion’ drug kingpin Fito put Ecuador on brink of civil war as cartel execute cops & battle army on streets

How ‘The Lion’ drug kingpin Fito put Ecuador on brink of civil war as cartel execute cops & battle army on streets

ECUADOR is on the verge of a massive civil war amid days of violence by organised criminal syndicates and drug cartels.

The country is going through an “internal armed conflict” sparked by the most notorious criminal in the region – “Fito”.

AFPArmy has been deployed on the streets of Ecuador following a decree of emergency from the President[/caption]

AFPDrug lord Fito’s escape from prison has caused a massive internal arms conflict in Ecuador[/caption]

Jam Press VidArmed terrorists kidnapped several law enforcement officers[/caption]

Armed groups hijacked TV studios and kidnapped journalists on live feed

AFPTerrified people running for safety after armed gunmen raided the University of Guayaquil[/caption]

ReutersTanks were seen rolling on the streets after the President declared a 60-day state of emergency[/caption]

It all began when the convicted leader of one of Ecuador’s most powerful drug gangs Adolfo Macías, alias “Fito”, vanished from the prison while serving his 34-year-long sentence.

The druglord – who leads the infamous cartel Los Choneros – escaped from prison on the day of his scheduled transfer to a maximum-security prison.

Following his escape, almost every armed group in Ecuador issued chilling threats of war across the country.

And this prompted President Daniel Naboa to declare a state of crisis and authorise military operations to “neutralise these groups”.

On the day of his escape, pals of Fito from Los Choneros forcibly entered and hijacked the live TV broadcast studio TC Television.

Appearing on live TV, the gunmen were seen taking journalists as hostages and pointing at the cameras while shouting “no police”, before the live feed was cut.

They were heard saying: “We are on air so that they know we do not play with the mafia.”

While law enforcement officers later detained the gunmen in the studio establishing some normalcy, similar attacks started to occur across the country in no time.

Members of different criminal gangs and drug cartels are now out on the streets waging widespread attacks on public places and other institutions.

Armed men were seen entering the University of Guayaquil, attempting to kidnap students, and Teodoro Maldonado Hospital, in a bid to kidnap doctors.

Shots have been heard in both locations, and an evacuation order has been issued at the Carondelet presidential complex and surrounding areas in Quito due to safety concerns.

Several police officers were abducted and a series of explosions were set off across the country.

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a 60-day state of emergency, calling the situation an “internal armed conflict”.

In response to the President’s decree, a different armed group abducted several policemen and made them sit on their knees.

Three of the kidnapped officers were seen on the ground with a gun pointed at them as one is forced to read a statement addressed to Noboa.

“You declared war, you will get war,” read the terrified officer.

“You declared a state of emergency. We declare police, civilians and soldiers to be the spoils of war.”

The statement added that anyone found on the street after 11pm “will be executed.”

Ecuador’s security situation has now deteriorated to the point where President Noboa has declared the existence of an “internal armed conflict” in the South American country.

At least 10 people have been killed since a 60-day state of emergency began in Ecuador on Monday.

And the army has now been ordered onto the street to battle the “civil war” with drug lords.


In a press conference, government spokesperson Roberto Izurieta said that “more than 3,000 law enforcement personnel are now trying to locate Fito”.

However, his whereabouts and means of escape still remain unknown.

Known as one of Ecuador’s most dangerous criminals, Fito leads Los Choneros – a prison gang engaged in drug trafficking and extortion.

Dubbed “Lion King” because of a song he featured in while serving prison time, Fito assumed leadership of the criminal syndicate after the murder of former head Jorge Luis Zambrano González.

Fito, 44, was serving a 34-year sentence for drug trafficking, organized crime, and homicide before he vanished from La Regional prison in the Guayas Penitentiary Complex.

Fito has also been linked to various cases of murder and extortion, as well as prominent political assassinations.

Before the country’s presidential elections last year, candidate Fernando Villavicencio – who spoke out against Ecuador’s powerful drug cartels – was killed in the capital Quito in August.

Villavicencio and his team reported having received threats from Fito and his gang Los Choneros.

With many of his pals imprisoned, Fito holds sway over all of the prisons in the country – so much so that a music video featuring him was shot inside the prison.

The song, called The Lion’s Ballad, taunts a government that has proved incapable of taking back control of its prisons from increasingly powerful gangs, the Washington Post reports.

It is believed that his criminal activities extend well beyond the prison walls – even reportedly functioning as an operating arm of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

More recently, pictures of Fito’s girlfriend Veronica Briones Zambrano have surfaced online since his prison escape.

She was first identified as the drug lord’s partner in October 2021 after she spent a week sleeping in his jail cell.

Veronica was caught as she tried to leave the prison in the middle of a riot while wearing a guard’s uniform.

She was briefly arrested along with a prison guide named, but was reportedly released after Fito cut out a deal with the prison officials.

Her social media platforms – which make no mentions of Los Choneros or Fito – are still active amid the manhunt for the country’s biggest criminal.

It is not clear yet if the cops are investigating her for leads about Fito.

AFPPolice detaining armed men who hijacked the TV studio[/caption]

FacebookPictures of Fito’s girlfriend Veronica Briones Zambrano have surfaced online since his prison escape[/caption]

AFPPolice officers have been guarding public places amid fears of violence from armed gangs[/caption]

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