Ecuador moves gang leader linked to slain candidate to maximum-security prison

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Ecuadorian authorities have transferred Jose Adolfo Macias, also known as “Fito”, the leader of the notorious Los Choneros gang, to a maximum-security prison in a massive operation involving thousands of soldiers and police officers. Macias is suspected of ordering the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, who was shot dead at a campaign rally in Quito on Wednesday.

Villavicencio, an anti-corruption activist and lawmaker, had denounced the threats he received from Macias and his criminal organization, which is allegedly connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. Villavicencio had promised to crack down on crime and drug trafficking if elected president in the August 20 election.

Macias, who was serving a 34-year sentence for organized crime, drug trafficking and murder, was moved from a lower-security prison to a facility known as “The Rock” in the same complex of detention centers in the port city of Guayaquil. During the raid, security forces seized weapons, ammunition and explosives from the inmates.

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