Days after his arrest, Los Lobos gang leader escapes on first night of national emergency

Jan 9, 2024 | 0 comments

Three days after he was arrested, Los Lobos gang leader has escaped from prison in Riobamba. The escape came hours after President Daniel Noboa declared a national emergency following a series of prison riots on Monday.

Los Lobos gang leader Colón Pico during his Friday arrest.

According to Riobamba prison management, the prison break followed a day of disturbances in which prisoners took over two areas of the prison. Although Pico was being held in a separate area, fellow Los Lobos prisoners were able to free him.

In total, 39 inmates escaped.

Pico, who has 21 criminal charges pending against him, including for murder and drug trafficking, had allegedly sent death threats to several government officials, including Attorney General Diana Salazar.

Pico is the second major gang leader to escape prison in recent days. On Monday, police were unable to locate Los Choneros gang boss José Adolfo Macías, alias ‘Fito’, at the Guayaquil prison. Macías was scheduled to be transferred to the high-security La Roca prison.

New information suggests Macías may have walked out of the prison, with the help of guards, on December 25 or 26.

According to national prison officials, Pico was also scheduled to be moved to La Roca later this week. La Roca is the only penal facility in the country with solitary confinement facilities.

Pico and Macías are sworn enemies, as the Los Choneros and Los Lobos gangs have been fighting over drug trafficking territory for more than a year. According to police, the conflict led to at least 200 murders in 2023.

National Police said they would release further information about Pico’s escape Tuesday morning.

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