Ecuadorean prosecutor investigating TV station attack has been assassinated, attorney general says

Jan 17, 2024, 5:44 PM

Relatives of slain prosecutor Cesar Suarez outside the morgue in Guayaquil, Ecuador on January 17.

Relatives of slain prosecutor Cesar Suarez outside the morgue in Guayaquil, Ecuador on January 17. Mandatory Credit: Marcos Pin/AFP/Getty Images

(CNN) — An Ecuadorean prosecutor, who was reportedly leading an investigation into an attack on a local TV network, was assassinated on Wednesday in Guayaquil, according to Ecuador’s Attorney General Diana Salazar.

Cesar Suarez was killed in the northern part of the city, known for being one of the most violent cities in the country. He was a prosecutor for the Guayas province and he focused on organized transnational crime, Salazar said in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

According to CNN affiliate Ecuavisa, Suarez was leading the investigation into the storming of local network TC Television by armed men while it was broadcasting live on January 9.

“I am going to be emphatic, the organized criminal groups, criminals, terrorists will not stop our commitment to the Ecuadorian society, we will continue with more strength and commitment,” Salazar said, adding, “we have to be clear; this atrocious event brings with it a message towards the work we are carrying out through justice in Ecuador.”

The storming of the TV network came as the country was rocked by explosions, police kidnappings, and prison disturbances after Ecuador President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency last Monday after notorious gang leader Adolfo “Fito” Macias allegedly escaped from a prison in Guayaquil.

Fito is the leader of Los Choneros, one of Ecuador’s most feared gangs – linked to maritime drug trafficking to Mexico and the United States – that also works with Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel and the Oliver Sinisterra Front in Colombia, according to authorities.

The TV station attack led Noboa to declare an “internal armed conflict” in the country, ordering security forces to “neutralize” several criminal groups accused of spreading extreme violence in the Latin American nation.

Since then, Ecuadorian military and police have spread throughout the city of Guayaquil, a CNN team on the ground witnessed.

The Ecuadorian Presidency said in a statement Wednesday that the country’s national police and armed forces had carried out a total of 20,849 operations against organized criminal groups, which have led to the arrest of 1,975 people since January 9.

Ecuador’s Armed Forces also captured six members of a terrorist organization in Guayaquil, and seven members of the terrorist organization in Los Tiguerones, including “Leo,” the alleged leader of a network of hitmen, in Victoria del Portete, the statement also said.

The operations will continue to be carried out in the 24 provinces of Ecuador to “ensure the safety of Ecuadorians,” it added.

This comes as rival criminal organizations fuel Ecuador’s worsening security situation in their battle to control drug trafficking routes.

Ecuador is nestled between two of the world’s largest cocaine producers, Peru and Colombia, and its deep ports have made it a key transit point for cocaine making its way to consumers in the United States and Europe. Its dollarized economy has also made it a strategic location for traffickers seeking to launder money.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Protesters gathered outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery in the wake of the IVF ruling on ...

Devon M. Sayers, Shirin Faqiri and Eric Levenson, CNN

Alabama House and Senate approve bills aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization after personhood ruling

The Alabama House and Senate each passed bills Thursday aimed at protecting in vitro fertilization treatments .

4 hours ago

FILE: Vivint Doorbell Camera (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...

Haleluya Hadero, AP Business Writer

Some doorbell cameras sold on Amazon and other online sites have major security flaws, report says

Consumer Reports says some doorbell cameras sold by Amazon and other online retailers have security flaws that could allow bad actors to view footage from the devices or control them completely.

4 hours ago

Oprah Winfrey...

Jordan Valinsky, CNN

Oprah is leaving WeightWatchers, sending stock tumbling

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of WeightWatchers, ending a nearly decade-long stint as a director of the beleaguered company that has faced sudden competition from Ozempic.

5 hours ago

At least 104 people were killed, and at least 760 were injured, in a chaotic incident where Israel ...

Rob Picheta, Abeer Salman, Jeremy Diamond and Khader Al Za’anoun CNN

Carnage at Gaza food aid site amid Israeli gunfire. Here’s what we know

One of the worst single tragedies to occur during Israel’s war with Hamas took place Thursday, when scores of Palestinians were killed trying to access food aid in Gaza City.

6 hours ago

Charred vehicles sit at an auto body shop after the property was burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fir...

SEAN MURPHY and JIM VERTUNO Associated Press

A wildfire scorching the Texas Panhandle has grown to the largest in state history

A wildfire spreading across the Texas Panhandle became the largest in state history Thursday.

9 hours ago

FILE - A vehicle charges at a Tesla Supercharger station in Detroit, Nov. 16, 2022. Owners of Ford ...

Associated Press

Ford electric vehicle owners can now charge on Tesla’s network, but they’ll need an adapter first

Owners of Ford electric vehicles can now use much of Tesla’s charging network in the U.S. and Canada, but there’s a hitch.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Ecuadorean prosecutor investigating TV station attack has been assassinated, attorney general says