Drug trafficking as the greatest enemy: There is a state of emergency in Ecuador

Drug trafficking as the greatest enemy
There is a state of emergency in Ecuador

Ecuador’s President Lasso sees the reason for the increasing crime in the past few months in the drug trade. Violence in prisons and on the streets, theft and murder are ongoing. Now calling a state of emergency should help.

The Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has declared a state of emergency in the fight against crime in the South American country. “There is only one enemy in the streets of Ecuador: drug trafficking,” Lasso said in a TV address. The state of emergency should therefore initially apply for 60 days. Among other things, it stipulates that in particularly affected provinces, in addition to the police, the military should also ensure safety on the streets.

As drug trafficking increases, so will the number of crimes such as murder and theft, Lasso said. More than 70 percent of the violent deaths that are currently occurring in Guayas province are related to drug trafficking. An 11-year-old boy was killed in a shooting in the provincial capital of Guayaquil on Sunday.

Lasso also announced the formation of a new unit to protect the security forces. In Ecuador there have been repeated violent clashes in the past few months, including in prisons.

Violent crimes are not ending. At the end of September, more than 100 people died in bloody gang fighting in a penal institution near the economic metropolis of Guayaquil on the Pacific coast. A total of 21 people were killed in riots in prisons in Cotopaxi and Guayaquil in July. In February, 79 people were killed in violent clashes between rival gangs in several prisons.

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