Ecuador armed conflict: President declares ‘internal armed conflict’ as violence rocks country

Ecuador’s president declared the beginning of an “internal armed conflict” in the country as violence by drug cartels sent the country into chaos.

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.
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