Armed Gang Takes Over Television Station During Live Broadcast
Ecuadorean security forces enter the premises of Ecuador's TC television channel after unidentified gunmen burst into the state-owned television studio live on air on January 9, 2024, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, a day after Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency following the escape from prison of a dangerous narco boss. Gunshots rang out on live TV in violence-torn Ecuador as armed men carrying rifles and grenades stormed the studio shortly after gangsters vowed a "war" against the president's plans to reclaim control from "narcoterrorists".
STRINGER / AFP via Getty Images

Gunmen took over an Ecuadorian television station during a live broadcast on Tuesday as the country descended into further chaos and a state of armed conflict was declared.

The incident comes after Adolfo Macías, a convicted leader of one of the country’s most powerful gangs, escaped from prison on Monday, sending shockwaves throughout the country.

During their storming of public TC Televisión station, gunshots were heard and alleged explosives were shown by members of the Los Tiguerones and Los Lobos gangs, The Washington Post reported. Law enforcement confirmed the arrests of at least 13 alleged gang members involved in the incident.

The incident comes after multiple attacks have happened across the country over the last day, “including about 30 car explosions and the kidnapping of seven police officers,” the report said. “Riots have also broken out at several prisons, with reports that dozens of guards have been held by armed men.”

Intelligence officials believe the attacks were coordinated and orchestrated by Los Lobos as a potential warning to government leaders against transferring gang leaders to maximum-security prisons.


The increased chaos in the country comes as it continues to crack down on government officials who have been arrested for allegedly working to support drug traffickers.

The report said that the violence has increased sharply in recent years because the country has become “a critical cocaine transit point and gangs compete for control of drug routes and prisons.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) responded to the images of violence unfolding on the streets of Ecuador by recounting his experience living in the country.

“Right now Ecuador is experiencing an all-out cartel takeover. They’re executing hostages, taking over prisons, and stormed a news station on live TV,” he said. “I used to live in Ecuador. My dad took an oil job there for a year and half while I was in middle school. Nothing like this was happening. Over the past 20 years cartels and drug traffickers have become far too powerful and more dangerous than ever.”

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