President Guillermo Lasso has declared this Monday the state of exception in Ecuador to combat the recent wave of violence, crime and insecurity derived from drug trafficking. Lasso has established the measure by signing an Executive Decree that will make it possible to face the “serious internal shock” of high crime rates for a period of 60 days.
Thus, immediate actions such as the deployment of the Armed Forces in nine provinces of the country to support the National Police. These provinces will be Santa Elena, El Oro, Manabí, Los Ríos, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Pichincha and Sucumbíos, in addition to Guayas, where there have been recent incidents that have made it the area most affected by the crime wave. reports the Ecuadorian newspaper ‘El Universo’. In this way, the Police and the Armed Forces will carry out weapons controls, inspections, patrols 24 hours a day or search for drugs, among other actions.
“In the streets there is only one enemy: drug trafficking,” Lasso stressed when announcing the state of exception that seeks to alleviate this problem that “increases hit men or robberies of homes and vehicles.” The president has pointed out that in the province of Guayas 70% of violent deaths are related to drug trafficking.
In this context, he has reported that among the measures to guarantee security in the country will also be the formation of an Inter-institutional Committee between all the ministries of the Social Front and the Human Rights Secretariat, which “will produce concrete actions to prevent, stop the addiction and reintegrating consumers into society. ”
Protection for the public force
On the other hand, the president has advanced that in the coming days a bill will be sent to the National Assembly for the defense of agents of the Police and the Armed Forces that are criminally prosecuted for actions in the framework of their work. In this way, a Public Force Legal Defense Unit will be created that will provide advice and protection to the members of these bodies who are sued, so that “no member of the security forces has to go into debt to defend themselves,” Lasso stressed. .
Along the same lines, it has announced the pardon for members of the security forces who have been “unjustly convicted for having carried out their duties.” “The law must intimidate the criminal, but not the police (…). Our judges must guarantee peace and order, not impunity and crime,” said the Ecuadorian president in defense of these measures to protect the public force. “We all have something in common: we want a safe Ecuador to live in peace. Without security there is no development, without security there will be no creation of possible opportunities. Together, listening to each other, working in coordination, we will win,” Lasso claimed on his Twitter profile , after your announcement.
The historical homicide rate has been increasing in recent years in Ecuador, according to the local media ‘El Telégrafo’. In 2016 it was 5.8%, while in October of this year it has risen to 10.6%. In addition, out of a total of 1,885 criminal events in this year, 1,112 have been classified as criminal violence.