Ecuador president declares state of emergency over drug violence

President Guillermo Lasso orders the mobilisation of police and army within the streets as he struggles to curb drug-related violence.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has declared a state of emergency because the nation grapples with a surge in drug-related violence, and ordered the police and army onto the streets.

“Starting immediately, our armed forces and police will be felt with force in the streets because we are decreeing a state of emergency throughout the national territory,” Lasso mentioned in a speech on Monday broadcast by the state channel EcuadorTV.

“In the streets of Ecuador there is only one enemy: drug trafficking,” the right-wing chief declared, including that “in recent years Ecuador has gone from being a drug trafficking country to one that also consumes drugs”.

Earlier on Monday, Lasso named a brand new defence minister because the nation reels from a considerable prisons disaster.

In current months, Ecuador has additionally been confronted with lethal violence in its prisons, prompting Lasso to additionally declare an emergency within the jail system and deploy troops to safe jails and stop riots.

In September, at the very least 116 inmates have been killed and dozens extra injured on the Penitenciaria del Litoral in Guayas province, within the deadliest outbreak of jail violence within the nation’s historical past.

So far in 2021, approximately 200 inmates have died in violence in Ecuador’s prisons, which have turn into a battleground for 1000’s of prisoners with ties to highly effective Mexican drug cartels.

More than 100 additionally died in violence final yr alone, together with many who have been beheaded.