Beauty queen daughter of Ecuadorian gang leader is released

Beauty queen daughter of Ecuadorian gang leader is released

‘I thought they were going to kill us’: Kidnappers release beauty queen daughter of gang leader and friend after holding them captive in mountains for four days in Ecuador

  • Michelle Macías, the 19-year-old daughter of Los Choneros gang leader José  ‘Fito’ Macías, was freed by kidnappers on Sunday night in Ecuador
  • Macías and her 21-year-old friend María Villavicencio, who was also released, were kidnaped Wednesday in the central coast port town of Manta
  • Macías told reporters Monday that their captors aimed their weapons at them but that they were never physically harmed
  • Fito, co-leader of Ecuador’s largest criminal organization, called the kidnapping of a family member a violation on unwritten rules that exist between gangs
  • Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported Friday that rival, Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation Cartel, ordered the abductions 
  • Los Choneros is linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, a major rival of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel,   
  • Fito’s gang has control of five of the 12 pavilions at the Litoral Penitentiary where more than 300 inmates have been killed in riots in 2021

The daughter of a powerful gang leader in Ecuador feared for her life as gang members held her captive for four days in the mountains before they decided to free her and her friend on Sunday night. 

Michelle Macías, the 19-year-old daughter of Los Choneros leader José ‘Fito’ Macías, and María Villavicencio, 21, were abandoned by the kidnappers in the town of Ligüiqui, 19 miles away from the central coast port city of Manta, where they were abducted Wednesday evening

‘Horrible. They aimed at us. I thought they were going to kill us. But thank God we are alive and we are here at home with family,’ Michelle Macías told reporters at her home Sunday.

Macías and Villavicencio had walked out of a beauty school they attend when they were intercepted by a group of armed men. Surveillance video shows Macías struggling with one of the kidnappers before she was shoved into a car, which was later found burned.

Macías, who participated in a beauty queen pageant in 2019, said the masked captors spoke for several days about releasing her and Villavicencio before doing so Sunday around 8pm local time.

She called the released ‘a miracle of God’ … ‘because the moment you are kidnapped, you imagine death, the first thing you see is death.’ 

However, Macías said the kidnappers ‘were very good to us, they never abused us, they never hit us. They were always concerned.’ 


Michelle Macías, whose father is the leader of Los Choneros, Ecuador’s largest gang, was released Sunday evening after being held by kidnappers following her abduction last Wednesday. She and her friend, María Villavicencio, were walking out of a beauty school in the port city of Manta when they were intercepted at gunpoint. Macías that she and her friend were not harmed by their captors

José ‘El Fito’ Macías is one of the two leaders of Los Choneros, a gang linked to Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s Sinaloa Cartel

Michelle Macías’s kidnapping in Ecuador was reportedly ordered by Nemesio ‘El Mencho’ Oseguera, leader of Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Her father, José ‘El Fito’ Macías, is the leader Los Choneros, a gang that controls most of the notorious Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil and is allied with the Sinaloa Cartel. The 19-year-old was freed by her captors Sunday

Witnesses told authorities they saw Macías and Villavicencio being taken from the car that was used in the abduction and placed in another vehicle.

The car was set on fire by the kidnappers, who later forced Michelle Macías and Villavicencio into a speedboat and escaped.

Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio reported Friday that the kidnappings were a direct order from Nemesio ‘El Mencho’ Oseguera, the leader the Jalisco New Generation, for whom the U.S. government is offering a $10 million bounty.  

The outlet said the cartel accepted responsibility for the abductions and claimed it was the most powerful Mexican criminal organization operating in Ecuador, in a leaflet floated around the notorious Litoral Penitentiary in Guayaquil. 

However, most of the prison is under the influence of Macías’ rival gang, Los Choneros. 

María Villavicencio (pictured) was freed Sunday, four days after she and her friend Michelle Macías, whose father, José ‘Fito’ Macías, is the leader of a powerful gang in Ecuador, were kidnapped in the city of Manta 

Michelle Macías was kidnapped Wednesday while leaving a beauty school in Manta, Ecuador. The 19-year-old is the daughter of jailed gang leader José ‘El Fito’ Macías, whose gang, Los Choneros, is linked to the Sinaloa Cartel

The group controls five of the Litoral Penitentiary’s 12 pavilions and is connected to the Sinaloa Cartel, the Mexican organization co-founded by El Chapo.

The gang is said to have been involved in the massacre of 68 inmates at the jail last weekend. 

Macías released a video on social media expressing relief over the kidnapping, but said those who were responsible broke an unwritten rule by targeting the family members of a rival organization.

“What they have done is something that has not been seen in Ecuador. Maybe in other countries yes, but not in Ecuador,’ he said. ‘There were codes here, but the codes were broken. I have tried to maintain peace, (keep) a dialogue so that all the people in the prisons coexist with tranquility.’

The National Police of Ecuador located the vehicle that was used in the kidnapping of Michelle Macías, daughter of Los Choneros gang leader José ‘El Fito’ Macías. The 19-year-old and a 21-year-old friend were released by their captors Sunday. Both young women were not physically harmed by the suspects

A source with knowledge of the incident told digital news outlet Infobae that the kidnappings of Fito’s daughter and her friend may have also been in carried out as revenge for the murder of the 15-year-old daughter of the Los Lobos gang’s leader, who is known as ‘El Sargento.’

The child’s killing was allegedly ordered by Fito and his associate Alexander ‘Junior’ Roldan. 

Los Lobos, which is not allied with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, has control of one pavilion at the Litoral Penitentiary. 

For Mexican organizations such as the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, Ecuador is a fertile ground for supplying drugs to the United States, Europe and the rest of the world.

Ecuador is suffering a wave of violence at its prisons, which house some 39,000 people. 

President Guillermo Lasso has pinned the blame on the Mexican criminal factions.

DEA is offering $10 million for information leading to the arrest of Nemesio ‘El Mencho’ Oseguera, who reportedly ordered the kidnapping of a rival gang leader’s daughter in Ecuador

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