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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Noboa Decrees Emergency State in 5 Coastal Provinces

  • Ecuadorian police inspect a vehicle, 2024.

    Ecuadorian police inspect a vehicle, 2024. | Photo: X/ @MetroLibrePTY

Published 1 May 2024

The new state of emergency came less than a month after another similar measure ended.

On Tuesday, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa decreed a new 60-day "Emergency State" focused on El Oro, Guayas, Los Rios, Manabi, and Santa Elena.


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In these five coastal provinces, violent actions such as murders, kidnappings, and extortions attributed to drug-trafficking gangs persist. 

Currently, the right to inviolability of domicile is suspended. This decision was justified by citing the need to "carry out tactical combat operations against organized armed groups."

The new state of emergency came less than a month after another similar measure ended, which Noboa kept in place between January 8 and April 7.

With that measure, given in the face of a wave of attacks and violent actions that occurred in parallel with a series of prison riots, Noboa militarized the prisons, which were epicenters of the violence crisis as many of them were controlled by criminal organizations.

The text reads, "In 2023, Ecuador ranked among the world's 10 worst countries for workers. It has regressive laws on rights, police violence, persecution, anti-union development, and media censorship."

Despite the previous emergency state ending, Noboa maintained the declaration of an "Internal Armed Conflict", designating the criminal gangs operating as terrorist groups and non-state belligerent actors.

Furthermore, the military continued operations in the country's prisons, many of which were internally dominated by gangs, whose rivalry had resulted in over 450 inmates murdered since 2020 in a series of prison massacres.

This prison violence spilled onto the streets to such an extent that Ecuador became one of the most violent countries in Latin America in 2023.

After months of military intervention in internal security, a resurgence of violence, especially in the coastal region, has once again raised alarms in the country.

In the days leading up to the referendum held on April 21, gunmen shot and killed two mayors from the provinces of El Oro and Azuay, where drug trafficking networks are involved in illegal mining activities.

On the same day as the vote, the director of El Rodeo prison in the city of Portoviejo, capital of the coastal province of Manabi, was also murdered.


Daniel Noboa
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