Ecuador gets pledge of US aid to fight cartel terror campaign

Police present detainees in the case of TC Televisión on Jan. 10, 2024, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. President Noboa declared "internal armed conflict" after hooded and armed men broke into TC Television's live broadcast, among other violent incidents across the country on Tuesday. Ecuador has been hit by explosions, police kidnappings, and prison disturbances since Noboa on Monday declared a nationwide state of emergency after gang leader Adolfo "Fito" Macias escaped from a prison in Guayaquil. (Romina Duarte/Getty Images/TNS)

Ecuador’s embattled president said he received a pledge of aid from the U.S. to help contain the terror campaign by drug traffickers. Bonds rallied.

“We had a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Fitzpatrick yesterday afternoon after the decree and he said in a few days, 2-3 days, they’ll arrive in Ecuador with an assistance package,” President Daniel Noboa said Wednesday in an interview with radio network Canela.

A crackdown on drug trafficking triggered the war between gangs and the Ecuadorian state, Noboa said. The crisis erupted after a notorious drug trafficker vanished from his cell at the weekend.

Noboa, who took office six weeks ago, has declared a state of emergency and called out the army to try to rein in the cartels. They responded by organizing prison riots, storming a TV station, torching cars and taking police hostage.

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