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Chief of Ecuadorian crime gang moved to maximum-security jail days after candidate’s killing

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GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — Authorities moved the chief of considered one of Ecuador’s strongest gangs right into a maximum-security jail Saturday, three days after the assassination of a presidential candidate who had denounced threats from the scary legal.

President Guillermo Lasso mentioned the relocation of Los Choneros chief Adolfo Macías, alias “Fito,” was meant “for the security of residents and detainees.”

The gang boss was moved out of a jail with lighter safety right into a maximum-security jail in the identical massive complicated of detention services within the port metropolis of Guayaquil.

“Ecuador will get well peace and safety,” Lasso tweeted. “If violent reactions come up, we’ll act with full drive.”

About 4,000 troopers and cops raided the jail the place Macías was being held Saturday and seized weapons, ammunition and explosives. Corrections officers launched pictures of the raid exhibiting a number of prisoners, together with Macías, who’s serving a 34-year sentence for drug trafficking, organized crime and murder.

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Ecuador’s transformation into a significant drug trafficking hub and the following three-year surge of violence reached a brand new stage with Wednesday’s assassination of Fernando Villavicencio throughout a marketing campaign rally in Quito, the capital. The candidate, who was not a front-runner, was recognized for talking up towards drug cartels.

Authorities haven’t disclosed a motive for the killing. An Ecuadorian choose on Friday ordered preventive detention for six Colombian males described by authorities as being suspected of involvement within the slaying.

Villavicencio, 59, was considered one of eight registered candidates for the Aug. 20 presidential election. He had accused Los Choneros and Macías, whom he linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, of threatening him and his marketing campaign group days earlier than the assassination.

Villavicencio believed standard help would hold him secure.

“You’re my bulletproof vest. I don’t want one. You’re a courageous individuals and I’m as courageous as you might be,” he mentioned at a public assembly within the metropolis of Chone, the guts of Los Choneros territory. “Deliver on the drug lords. Deliver on the hitmen.”

Inside Minister Juan Zapata on Thursday described the assassination as a “political crime of a terrorist nature” aimed toward sabotaging the election.

The snap election was known as after Lasso, a conservative former banker, dissolved the Nationwide Meeting by decree in Might, appearing to keep away from being impeached over allegations that he didn’t intervene to finish a defective contract between the state-owned oil transport firm and a personal tanker firm. Lasso is not operating within the election.

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