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Ecuador: Two arrested over killing of cartel prosecutor

January 18, 2024

As Ecuador's war against drug cartels continues, police arrested two suspects over the killing of a prosecutor who was tasked with investigating last week's dramatic attack on a TV studio.

An Ecuadorian soldier during an operation at a prison in Guayaquil
The president of Ecuador said his country is at war with drug cartelsImage: Marcos Pin/AFP/Getty Images

Two men were arrested on Thursday over the murder of Ecuadoran prosecutor who was tasked with investigating last week's dramatic gang attack on a TV studio that was broadcast live.

Prosecutor Cesar Suarez was gunned down in his car in the port city of Guayaquil on Wednesday.

"We have apprehended two suspects involved in the murder of prosecutor Cesar Suarez... after investigative steps that allowed us to identify the alleged involvement in the criminal act," Police Commander General Cesar Zapata said on social media.

Police said the killing had the hallmarks of an assassination and evidence they recovered included a rifle, two pistols, a firearm charger and two cars.

Police at the crime scene where Cesar Suarez was killed
Cesar Suarez was shot dead in his car in GuayaquilImage: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Soldiers enter Guayaquil prison

Ecuador is in a state of emergency declared by President Daniel Noboa in response to last week's attack on live TV.

Authorities are fighting against transnational drug cartels that have increasingly been using Ecuadorean ports to ship narcotics to the United States and Europe. 

Soldiers on Thursday launched a vast operation in a prison complex in Guayaquil, which has been the nerve center of the government's war on drug gangs.

"Army and police personnel are carrying out a new intervention" to "control the external and internal perimeters of the penitentiary center," the army said in a press release.

Soldiers entering a prison in Guayaquil
Soldiers entered a major prison in Guayaquil as part of the country's war against drug cartelsImage: Marcos Pin/AFP/Getty Images

More to follow...

zc/jcg (AFP, Reuters)