The violence unleashed especially in two prisons in Guayaquil reveals how criminal gangs have been gaining more power. This Journal crossed information assigned to the investigation of this issue, who say they intended to take territories within the penitentiaries, the ringleaders and his collaborators began recruiting gang members serving sentences or members of small criminal networks agents.
According to agents, the power that the groups have taken has led them to call them megabandas; they have even caught prison guides and policemen. From the year 2017 until last February, 50 prison officers were arrested for allowing the entry of prohibited objects.
In a case registered on January 2, in the prison of Guayaquil 10 agents are being prosecuted for clandestinely entering drugs, liquor, weapons and even a refrigerator. In that file is also indicated the leader of Los Choneros, the largest megaband that operates in the prisons.
The others are Los Gorras and Los Cubanos. The three mafias fight a battle. They use networks of assassins to consolidate their power and increase their territories. But its economy is based mainly on drug trafficking. “There are thousands of people who work for them inside and outside prisons.
The Choneros give them the material (the drug) and give them security, “researchers say. During their inquiries, they have detected that the phenomenon that now exists in Ecuador and that is already registered, for example, in Venezuela.
In their prisons megabandas operate and the leaders increase their power through alliances and crimes, since they take advantage of the weak rehabilitation system to extend their influence to the streets. “Here it happens the same.
The Choneros receive so many privileges and that’s why there are crimes inside the prisons and ordered from there, “says an agent. One of the latest cases of hired killers was recorded on a surveillance camera. In the images you can see the silhouette of a man with his right hand tucked into the pocket of a sports jacket.
He followed his victim into a school. Upon entering a classroom he took a pistol from his pocket and shot the body of a young man, who at that moment was carrying his daughter’s pink backpack. The victim was alias ‘Patacón’, 27 years old, and his crime occurred last Monday, in Babahoyo, in the province of Los Ríos.
His murder was ordered by one of the megabandas. That same day, in the regional prison of Guayas, alias ‘El Cubano’, leader of the band Los Cubanos, was beheaded. Both crimes are investigated as part of a criminal phenomenon characterized by the settling of accounts and struggles for drug trafficking.
The killer of alias ‘Patacon’ shocked Babahoyo. Witnesses indicated that after the shooting the hit man fled with a motorcyclist, who was waiting outside the school. The crime occurred in the presence of four children and a teacher. A 6-year-old schoolboy was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital. Other deaths linked to these mega bands occurred in Quevedo, Los Ríos.
On March 28, a former police officer was gunned down. The crime occurred when he was having a snack with his family at a food place. He was separated from the institution after being arrested with 31 kilos of drugs, in 2009. On April 17 he was killed alias ‘Oso Yogi’ and one day later he died ‘El Pinta’.
In all cases, the gunmen fled on motorcycles and fired more than 10 shots. The agents indicate that behind these crimes is drug trafficking. Now, a state of emergency rules over rehabilitation centers and the idea is to control the entry of drugs, weapons and other illegal objects.
According to research by the entry of a firearm ringleaders paid USD 2,000 to USD 15 000. cell, chips, antennas and equipment wifi canceled up to USD 3 000.
For intelligence agents, money that the leaders move inside the prison is the product of drug rents, hired killers and other crimes. For example, ‘JR’, a leader allied to Los Choneros, would currently have control of the drug micro-trafficking and a network of hired assassins operating in El Triunfo, in Guayas.
Data shows that each month moves from USD 15,000 to USD 20,000 in cash only within a prison. The Social Rehabilitation Service has identified 80 leaders of criminal gangs. They were placed in the special maximum security pavilions. (I)