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Ecuador faces a comeback in violence that was “foreseeable,” according to analysts

Ecuador faces a comeback in violence that was “foreseeable,” according to analysts

With around twenty murders that occurred last weekend, Ecuador faces a comeback of violence that “it was predictable“, according to analysts, who believe that this does not mean that the Government could be losing the battle against criminal gangs.

According to police data, last week there were 137 murders. Of the weekend murders, twelve occurred in two armed attacks by unknown individuals who arrived at public places where the now victims were conversing, against whom they opened fire in the coastal province of Guayas, one of the most affected by violence in the country. .

Exception status

In the midst of a growing wave of violence, which included riots in prisons with hostage taking, burning of vehicles and the takeover by hooded armed men of a television channel that was broadcasting live, the president of EcuadorDaniel Noboa, decreed a state of emergency in January, which he renewed at the beginning of March for 30 days.

He also declared the “internal armed conflict” against 22 criminal gangs, which he began to call “terrorists”, which allowed the participation of the military in control actions against crime, achieving the confiscation of thousands of weapons and ammunition that were in the hands of civilians.

Relatives load the coffin of one of the victims of Saturday’s shooting in Guayaquil into a truck. (Photo by Gerardo Menoscal/AFP).

The Government had highlighted the reduction in crimes as a result of the actions taken, but the violent comeback over the weekend – which included the kidnapping of eleven people in a hotel and the murder of five of them – broke that statistic, which For Noboa it is a “shows that narcoterrorism and its allies are looking for spaces to scare us, but they will not succeed“, said.

The Secretary General of Communication, Roberto Izurieta, pointed out this Tuesday that they have always had “Of course, this fight is going to have ups and downs, but the only thing that has to be permanent and increase is the commitment of the Armed Forces, the Police and the President of the Government to be victorious in this fight.”.

Analysts César Ulloa and Santiago Basabe agree that events such as those that occurred were foreseeable. “Let’s hope this doesn’t go too far.“Basabe told EFE.

For Ulloa, the Government is not losing the battle against criminal groups, but he believes that the population is alert since the events occurred on a holiday, in which the aim was to restore citizen confidence in moving around the country.

What we see is a sort of three months of withdrawal of the gangs, which then begin to manifest themselves in different ways and quite continuously.”, he commented to EFE.

A police officer stands guard during a security operation in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 1, 2024. (Photo by MARCOS PIN/AFP).
A police officer stands guard during a security operation in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 1, 2024. (Photo by MARCOS PIN/AFP).

Referendum

The events occurred while Ecuadorians are preparing to respond, on April 21, to a plebiscite on the participation of the Armed Forces in support of the Police against organized crime, allowing the extradition of Ecuadorians and establishing courts on constitutional matters, among others. topics.

Analysts presume that the events could translate into a “support to the Government” Well, people could vote for greater surveillance and control.

For Ulloa, the consultation is a “water part“because if the participation of the military is approved, “An open letter would be established so that what is exceptional ends up being permanent”.

judicial investigations

After the events of the weekend, the Prosecutor’s Office warned about alleged attempts by criminal groups to destabilize the country and hinder ongoing investigations, such as those in the “Metástatis” case, which investigates a plot of judicial, police and prison corruption.

Without going into details, he mentioned “desperate attempts by criminal organizations, which – through various strategies that they have put into practice and others that they plan to execute – seek to divert attention from these processes, destabilize the country and hinder investigations”.

Ulloa believes that the “Purga” case, which was derived from the “Metastasis”, has begun to “reveal a series of characters who were possibly never in question in the investigation process”.

It is a case where the tail does not yet have a defined extension, neither does the width and nor does the depth.”, he said when opining that “We have not yet encountered some sectors that possibly want to destabilize in order to interrupt the investigation processes carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office.”.

A police officer searches a man during a security operation in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 1, 2024. (Photo by MARCOS PIN/AFP).
A police officer searches a man during a security operation in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 1, 2024. (Photo by MARCOS PIN/AFP).

Source: Gestion

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