Prosecutor probing Ecuador hostage crisis assassinated (VIDEO) — RT World News

The official was shot dead in broad daylight by assailants with suspected links to organized crime

The Ecuadorian prosecutor charged with investigating last week's dramatic assault on a local television studio has been shot dead, according to the country's top prosecutor. The takeover of the TV station was broadcast live, with gunmen taking several employees hostage.

Cesar Suarez, a prosecutor in Guayas province, was assassinated in Guayaquil on Wednesday, reportedly shot at least 20 times while traveling through the northern part of the city. Prosecutor Diana Salazar later acknowledged the shooting in a statement.

“In the face of the murder of our colleague Cesar Suarez… I will affirm: organized crime groups, criminals and terrorists will not stop our commitment to Ecuadorian society.” She added that security forces have been placed on high alert.

Pictures obtained by Agence France-Presse show the prosecutor's car riddled with bullets on a street in Guayaquil. In an interview with local media earlier this week, Suarez said he does not usually travel with a police bodyguard.

According to multiple media reports citing government sources, Suarez was leading the investigation into the attack on the television station last Tuesday, during which masked gunmen stormed TC's television broadcast studio armed with guns and explosives and took hostages – all while the cameras were still running.

After a brief standoff with law enforcement, heavily armed security forces entered the building and arrested 13 attackers. National Police Chief Cesar Augusto Zapata Correa said this later “Weapons, explosives and other evidence” She was recovered at the scene, and no injuries were reported during the accident.

The live hostage crisis came as Ecuador descended into chaos amid a wave of violence linked to organized crime, with kidnappings reported at a university, hospital, prisons and police stations. Criminal gangs reportedly carried out coordinated attacks across the country, detonating explosives and taking hostages, including dozens of prison guards and police officers in three cities. The attacks resulted in the deaths of at least 20 people.

In response, President Daniel Noboa declared a national emergency and deployed some 22,000 security officers to maintain order, as well as imposed school closures and a nationwide curfew.

Before his killing on Wednesday, Suarez had reportedly interviewed 13 gunmen arrested following the TV studio incident and was working to establish who ordered the attack. He has previously worked on a number of other high-profile cases involving drug lords, organized crime and government corruption.

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