Hitmen mistakenly execute family of 4 children after going to wrong address

A five-month old baby and three other children were killed by Ecuadorian gunmen who meant to target a different house.

The tragedy happened Tuesday night in Guayaquil, a port city that is one of the most violent in the South American country.

Gunmen entered the home and fired multiple shots, killing the infant along with three kids aged 3, 5 and 7.

Their parents were also injured, with the mother being hospitalized, said the country’s Attorney General’s office.

Ecuador has seen a dramatic rise in organized drug crime since 2016. Between January 2019 and June 2022, homicides of young people between the ages of 15 and 19 went up by 500 percent.

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The gunmen in this week’s attack meant to target members of the Los Lagartos gang in an “adjacent house,” prosecutors say.

Authorities later found material to make “explosives” in the other home.

Los Lagartos is one of two gangs that dominate the impoverished sector where the killings took place.

Ecuador’s government said the murders “demonstrate the cruelty” with which armed groups act in the country, according to El Heraldo de Mexico.

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Gangs have run wild in Ecuador since 2016, when the Colombian government legitimized the Marxist revolutionary FARC guerilla group.

The group controlled lucrative cocaine trafficking routes in Ecuador. When they withdrew, a power vaccum allowed Ecuadorian gangs to slide in.

They got even more powerful after the economic downturn of COVID-19 and a drop in oil prices made gangs a more attractive option for young men, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

There were about 22 murders per 100,000 people in Ecuador in 2022, putting the once peaceful nation on par with countries like Mexico and Colombia.

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