The crisis began after a leading drug lord, Adolfo Macias, escaped an overcrowded prison on Sunday following an announcement from the government that high-profile convicts would be moved to maximum security prisons. Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a 60-day state of emergency the following day, empowering the police and military to restore order forcefully.
Soldiers patrol outside the government palace during a state of emergency in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. The country has seen a series of attacks after the government imposed a state of emergency in the wake of the apparent escape of a powerful gang leader from prison. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
In response, drug cartels around the country launched a campaign of bombings, kidnappings, shootings, and prison uprisings.