15 alleged members of the Los Lobos criminal gang arrested in Ecuador

15 alleged members of the Los Lobos criminal gang arrested in Ecuador
15 alleged members of the Los Lobos criminal gang arrested in Ecuador

Quito, Jul 4 (EFE).- Ecuador’s National Police arrested 15 alleged members of the Los Lobos criminal gang early Thursday morning, considered “terrorist” by the government of this country, and among them are two subjects considered “intermediate value targets.”

The operation, which involved 21 raids, was carried out at 3:00 a.m. local time (8:00 GMT) in the provinces of Manabí and Los Ríos, police said in a press conference.

Among those arrested are two men nicknamed ‘Titi’ and ‘Junior’, considered by the police to be “intermediate value targets” and alleged leaders of the Los Lobos organisation.

The police institution explained that these targets were already linked to crimes of contract killing, drug trafficking and firearms trafficking.

“We believe that a severe blow has been dealt to the organizations, especially to these Lobos, who were operating here and causing problems of both violence and crime,” said the general commander of the Police, César Zapata.

This organization is believed to be related to the violent events being investigated in the area. Specifically, the police reported that it participated in eight violent deaths in the province of Manabí and one in the province of Los Ríos.

In addition, the agents seized three firearms, a dozen mobile phones, 103 bullet cartridges and two magazines during this operation.

The police said that these citizens have been placed at the disposal of the competent authority so that the corresponding procedures can be carried out.

At the beginning of June, the country’s president, Daniel Noboa, decreed the transfer of the operations center of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces and National Police to Manta, capital of the province of Manabí, in response to the increase in violent crimes and with the aim of reinforcing the police presence to confront organized crime.

Since the beginning of the year, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has elevated the fight against organized crime to the category of “internal armed conflict,” which has led him to classify criminal gangs as terrorist groups and non-state belligerents.

Organized crime gangs, mainly dedicated to drug trafficking, are blamed for the wave of violence that has hit Ecuador and has led it to rank as the country with the most homicides per capita, registering 47.2 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023, according to the Ecuadorian Observatory of Organized Crime (OECO). EFE

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