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This Video Does Not Show the Ecuadorian Gang Leader Fito Been Arrested

Ahmed Sabry Ahmed Sabry
10th January 2024
This Video Does Not Show the Ecuadorian Gang Leader Fito Been Arrested
This video of Fito is older than claimed (X)

The Claim

A video shows the Ecuadorian Gang Leader Fito Been Arrested.

Emerging story

A recently shared viral video allegedly shows the fugitive gang leader known as Fito, responsible for causing security chaos in Ecuador, being arrested. 

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Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating video and found the claim to be misleading. 

Misbar's team found that the video dates back to August 2023; depicting Ecuadorian soldiers raiding a prison and transferring the gang leader Fito and not arresting him. 

A supporting image within the article body

According to the accompanying information on a BBC YouTube video, a large-scale operation involving thousands of Ecuadorian soldiers and police was carried out at dawn to transfer a well-known gang leader, Jose Adolfo Macias, also known as "Fito," to a maximum security prison. 

Fito is accused of sending death threats to Fernando Villavicencio, a presidential candidate in Ecuador who was tragically murdered. Villavicencio, an anti-corruption activist, was fatally shot in the head after leaving a campaign rally. In the meantime, the running mate of Villavicencio will be stepping in to run in the presidential election on his behalf.

Ecuador Declares State of Emergency as Convicted Gang Leader Vanishes

The circulation of the claim came after the President of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, has imposed a 60-day state of emergency following the disappearance of Adolfo MacΓ­as Villamar, also known as "Fito," a notorious gang leader. Fito is the head of Los Choneros, a powerful gang suspected of instigating recent deadly prison riots. He was being held in a maximum security prison in Guayaquil when he went missing.

President Noboa's emergency measures include the suspension of the right to assemble and the implementation of a nightly curfew. The president aims to regain control of the country's prisons, which have been heavily influenced by Los Choneros. The gang is believed to have strongholds within La Regional prison, where Fito was held.

Fito, a notorious criminal, is suspected of involvement in the assassination of another candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, who received death threats from him. His absence was noticed by police on Sunday, and it remains uncertain whether he escaped from the prison or is hiding inside the compound. A police commander could neither confirm nor deny his escape, but a thorough search is underway.

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