Television Studio Commandeered by Masked Gunmen

( – Ecuador’s attorney general is charging 13 men with terrorism after the group donned masks and stormed a TV news studio, taking the staff hostage on January 9th.

César Zapata, Ecuador’s police commander, said his forces arrested the gunmen and seized their weapons after the incident, which played out live on air for about 15 minutes before the signal was stopped. Thankfully, no lives were lost in the ambush.

Footage shared on social media showed a tense and chaotic scene at TC Television, located in Guayaquil. Several masked men carrying guns could be seen walking up to a man in the studio who was pleading for calm. With his hands folded, the man pleaded with the invaders to stop, but they forced him to the ground at gunpoint. Several other station staff were already on the floor behind him.

The attackers did not bring only guns, but possibly explosives, too. The gunmen yelled in Spanish while waving around objects they claimed were bombs. One attacker took out what seemed to be a dynamite stick and placed it in the jacket of the man who was pleading for the situation to end.

TC Television news boss Alina Manrique told the Associated Press that she was in the control room near the studio when the group burst into the studio. She found herself with a gun to her head, and they ordered her to the floor with the rest of the hostages. Manrique has had enough. “All I know is that it’s time to leave this country and go very far away,” she said.

Authorities have not confirmed which groups or individuals were responsible for the invasion, but it may be related to a recent announcement by the nation’s president, Daniel Noboa. The president recently declared a national state of emergency after infamous gang leader Adolfo Macias escaped from prison on January 7th. The hostage-taking at the TV station is one of many violent incidents the South American nation has seen since the president’s declaration.

In response to the attack on TC Television, President Noboa designated 20 Ecuadorian gangs as “terrorists” and authorized the national guard to “neutralize” them.

Copyright 2024,