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Military have found knives in the operations in Guayaquil; tours include banking areas

Once the military took to the streets, the Government of Guayas yesterday announced additional measures for security. The Armed Forces and the Police will carry out fixed controls in the ports of Guayaquil and Posorja during the period of validity of the state of exception.

That governmental instance also recommended reforming the ordinance in force in Guayaquil, on the issue of motorcycle circulation, extending the prohibition of two male persons aboard said vehicle 24 hours a day and with a penalty of more than one day of retention. .

The decision transpired on the second day of operations by the Armed Forces due to the state of emergency. Nine groups of the Armed Forces were deployed this Wednesday in Guayaquil to cover some sectors of great commercial movement and others where hitmen have increased in recent months.

In the Alborada citadel and in Sauces there were several operations in their main streets regarding a robbery in which the wife of a policeman and another hit man in a park was shot by pencil sharpeners. Both cases occurred on Monday in less than two hours and less than 200 meters apart.

The military toured the banking areas in the north of Guayaquil. They were outside each bank for at least 30 minutes. About 25 soldiers got off a bus at each point and immediately began to check those who were nearby. Then they put the cones on the tracks and began to stop the cars. Buses, private cars and motorcycles stopped. They asked the occupants for identification and checked the criminal records if they found any suspicious objects.

The uniformed men checked the trunks of the cars and under the seats. They also opened backpacks and even covers that the passengers of the buses were carrying.

Guayaquil, October 20, 2021.- Military in the streets of Guayaquil due to insecurity. Photo Carlos Barros – The Universe.

Two cell phones were found in a young man of about 18; one of them had a damaged screen. He told the military that it was his mother’s phone number and that he was taking it to the technical service located about 100 meters away. After reviewing his data and verifying that he had no criminal record, a military man walked with the young man to the entrance of the business where he was going to repair the phone.

José Alejandro Suárez arrived at the bank and was searched by the military before parking outside the Plaza Mayor shopping center, where about 20 uniformed men remained until 11:00 on Wednesday.

“Today one does not know where a criminal can carry the weapon. We see in the news that they go with machine guns on the buses, ”said the man before using an ATM.

In that sector they also checked Marcos Pinoargote, who was arriving at a nearby gym in his car. He was with his wife and baby. Trying to make little noise, so as not to wake the infant, the soldiers checked the car and the couple reviewed the documents.

Then Pinoargote’s wife got into the driver’s seat and left. Before entering the gym, the father of the family said he felt calmer when he saw the military in the streets.

Lt. Monica Chapaca, who was at the Alborada citadel, said that each group would check more than 100 cars daily.

The Western Operational Command No. 2, which groups together the three branches of the Armed Forces, reported that some 1,500 soldiers will be part of the operations in these two days of operations.

After the declaration of a state of exception at the national level, in Guayaquil the military have seized some bladed weapons (it was not specified how many). These were handed over to the National Police.

Guayaquil, October 20, 2021.- Military in the streets of Guayaquil due to insecurity.  Photo Carlos Barros - The Universe.

Guayaquil, October 20, 2021.- Military in the streets of Guayaquil due to insecurity. Photo Carlos Barros – The Universe.

Despite the fact that the military controls arms, ammunition and explosives, these devices have not yet been detected in the operations, which will continue in the afternoons in the center of Guayaquil, at the time of the departure of the office workers and in the south and suburb at nightfall.

Yesterday afternoon, President Guillermo Lasso was in the Eugenio Espejo Police District in Quito to support the soldiers. The president announced on Monday the creation of the Legal Defense Unit of the Public Force, which will allow giving support to the servers that could be sued for fulfilling their duty. “The law should intimidate the criminal, but not the police,” Lasso said.

For 60 days, the military will be patrolling the streets of the country. Executive Decree 224 indicates that “the mobilization of the Armed Forces is ordered in the provinces of El Oro, Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabí, Los Ríos, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Pichincha and Sucumbíos.”

In the decree, the Government argued that in recent weeks there have been increases in criminal activity that affect citizen security throughout the national territory, producing an increase in the rate of intentional homicides of 10.62% per 100,000 inhabitants.

After an analysis of national figures for the last five years, it was found that intentional deaths have almost doubled since 2016. They went from 5.81 to 10.62 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2016, at the national level, there were 969 crimes, while so far in 2021, 1,890 cases have already been reported.

The Government linked the increase in criminal activity and the intensity of these events to retaliation for actions that the State has undertaken to restore public order.

The executive decree alludes that 147 tons of drugs have been detected so far this year. Last year (from January to December) 128 tons were seized. (I)

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