FACT CHECK: Video Falsely Claims Ecuadorian Fugitive Gang Leader Has Been Apprehended
A video shared on Facebook purports to show Jose Adolfo “Fito” Macias, an Ecuadorian fugitive gang leader, recently being apprehended by police.
The video, originally shared on YouTube by BBC News, shows Macias being moved to a maximum security prison back in August 2023.
Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has announced a “60-day mobilization of soldiers in Ecuador’s streets and prisons” following Macias’ apparent escape from prison, according to France24. A daily curfew from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. is also in effect, the outlet reported.
“The fugitive gang leader responsible for the security chaos in Ecuador has been apprehended,” the Facebook video’s caption purports. In the video, a man is led inside what appears to be a jail by police officers dressed in camouflage and carrying large guns.
The video also circulated on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, where it garnered over 30,000 views. Neither post included a source to support the claim. (RELATED: No, This Video Does Not Show An Underwater View Of Recent Earthquake In Japan)
The video does not show Macias recently being apprehended by police, however. The video, originally shared on YouTube by BBC News, shows Macias being moved to a maximum security prison back in August 2023.
“Thousands of Ecuadorian soldiers and police have been involved in a dawn operation to move a notorious gang leader to a maximum security jail. Jose Adolfo Macias, known as “Fito,” is accused of sending death threats to Ecuador’s murdered presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio,” the video’s description reads.
“The anti-corruption campaigner was shot three times in the head leaving a campaign rally on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the running mate of Villavicencio is to contest the presidential election in his place,” it continues.
The short clip of Macias being moved to the maximum security prison can be seen at the video’s 2:20-minute mark.
Macias, the leader of the Los Choneros gang, escaped from jail on Jan. 7, prompting a state of emergency to be declared in Ecuador, CNN reported. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison in 2011 for “various crimes including drug trafficking and murder,” according to Reuters.
Check Your Fact has contacted the Policia Nacional del Ecuador or Ecuadorian Police for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.