14 civil servants arrested on organized crime charges in Ecuador


Police officers patrol the streets of Ecuador amid an escalation of gang violence. [Xinhua]

At least 14 civil servants in Ecuador, including judges and police officers, were arrested on Wednesday in a nationwide operation against corruption within the legal system, the country's Attorney General's Office said.

Police arrested and raided homes in eight provinces as part of Operation Plague, which targeted civil servants suspected of systematically allowing criminals to elude justice in exchange  for "money or favors."

"Those allegedly involved ... benefited highly dangerous people, granting them freedom through legal tricks and abuse of the law," the office said in a post on social media site X, formerly Twitter.

Judges implicated let criminals already in prison "obtain their freedom illegitimately though it appeared legal," said the office.

The operation aims "to eradicate this plague that operates in the justice system, which has been systematized as a vicious circle and which accounts, once again, for the deep emergence of corruption in state institutions," it added.