Drug violence prompts Ecuador to declare emergency in 3 provinces
The Ecuadoran President declared a state of emergency for two months in three districts with the highest recorded levels of drug-trafficking violence.
Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency for two months in three districts with the highest recorded levels of violence related to drug trafficking on Friday.
In a speech, the President stated that he declared a state of emergency "in the (coastal) provinces of Guayas, Manabi and Esmeraldas, effective from midnight tonight."
Under the state of emergency, he directed the deployment of 4,000 police officers and 5,000 military soldiers to the provinces. A curfew will also be imposed between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. in select locations, including Duran, which is located near the port of Guayaquil.
Two victims were discovered hanging from a pedestrian bridge in Duran in February, using a tactic similar to Mexican cartel murders.
According to government estimates, drug trafficking in Ecuador has resulted in an upsurge in crime, with 1,255 individuals killed since the beginning of the year.
Guayaquil, the country's economic hub and the provincial capital of Guayas, and Duran have seen around 440 crimes.
Prison rioting killed 79 inmates in February 2021. In September, 119 inmates were slain in one of the deadliest prison massacres in Latin American history at a jail in Guayas, Ecuador's most populated province.
In early April, 20 were killed in prison riots in the south of the country.