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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Violent Deaths in 2022 Exceed 2021

  • Ecuador authorities reported a great number of murders so far in the current year, exceeding the numbers of 2021. Jul. 11, 2022.

    Ecuador authorities reported a great number of murders so far in the current year, exceeding the numbers of 2021. Jul. 11, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@Richarzamb

Published 11 July 2022

This weekend saw shocking murders such as that of driver Milton Vera after winning a competition in Santo Domingo.

In the province of Esmeralda, a group of hired killers mowed down political leader Iván Cuero while he was attending a soccer championship. Cuero was an advisor to the mayor of the canton of Atacames, Fredy Saldarriaga, and was a member of the Ecuadorian Socialist Party. Driver Milton Vera was murdered the week after winning a competition in Santo Domingo.

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According to official figures, these murders have confirmed that violent deaths have quadrupled in Esmeraldas this year 2022. The data show that this province has the highest rate of violent deaths in Ecuador, with 37 cases per 100 000 inhabitants.

In addition, there were 249 cases of violent deaths in Esmeraldas from January 2022 to July 10. While in the same period, in 2021, 63 cases were recorded. On average, this year in the province, there is at least one violent death per day.

Due to this situation of insecurity, President Lasso decreed, on April 29, the State of Emergency in the provinces of Guayas, Manabi, and Esmeraldas, to control and mitigate crime. "We are going to take the fight against criminals to the same territory, where they try to hide them and their dirty goods. That is why I have ordered the execution of a wide operation coordinated between police and armed forces," said the President.

President Guillermo Lasso announced that he had decreed a state of emergency in the provinces of Guayas, Manabí, and Esmeraldas. The provision was in force between April 29 and June 28, 2022, and during that period, the Ecuador Police recorded 449 violent deaths.

These disturbing data are added to the horrifying cases that multiply daily in different areas of the country. This Sunday, July 10, Milton Vera, a driver from Manta, after crossing the finish line and being proclaimed champion of a rallycross race, was riddled with bullets by hired assassins in the audience. The event took place at the Milton Torres track in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas.

Meanwhile, in Machala, the dismembered bodies of a couple were found inside bags. The victims were identified as Richard Contreras and Johana Méndez. Local media reported that the scene was discovered by workers who were going to work in an ice factory located in the region.

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