Footage of a gang takeover in Guayaquil, Ecuador, shocked the world yesterday afternoon (Jan. 9). Among the bystanders killed amid the violence was Ecuadorian singer Aire del Golfo.
The gang attacks were spread across the city of Guayaquil. According to Al Jazeera, it’s the largest and most dangerous city in Ecuador due to its ports, which are allegedly used for smuggling drugs. The violence stemmed after Adolfo Macias, also known as Los Choneros gang leader Fito, disappeared from prison over the weekend. On Sunday, authorities discovered Macias had escaped when they were planning to transfer him to a maximum-security prison.
Yesterday, groups of armed and masked gang members took over six hospitals and the TC Televisión channel by force. Cars were also set on fire throughout the city, and buildings were damaged amidst the violence.
At least 10 deaths from the violence have been reported. Among the casualties is singer and musician Aire del Golfo, born Diego Gallardo. He was unfortunately caught in the crossfire, dying from a stray bullet as he was going to pick up his son from school. Miguel Ángel Loor, the president of LigaPro, announced Gallardo’s death on X.
“A first-class young man, musician, father, husband, son, brother, grandson. All first-class. My wife’s cousin, my cousin. What a disgrace. A family destroyed,” Loor wrote in Spanish.
Like Gallardo, his cousin Vivianna is a singer as well. She also took to X to express her grief over the loss of Gallardo with broken-hearted emojis. “My cousin Diego Gallardo just died because of these sons of b**ches!!!!” she wrote. “We are in shock. We can’t believe it. This is painful. It’s not fair”
During his lifetime, Gallardo released one album in 2019 under the Aire del Golfo moniker. He continued to put out a string of singles up until last year.
The gang violence was contained by Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa after declaring a 60-day martial law in the country.