The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States (FBI) has arrived in Ecuador to assist with investigations surrounding the incident of a car bomb last Saturday in in San Lorenzo and Eloy Alfaro, two cities in the northern Pacific province of Esmeraldas, in Ecuador.
General Mauricio Gutiérrez, General Director of Operations of the Police Headquarters, and Colonel Víctor Herrera, commander of the Intervention and Rescue Group (GIR), met Tuesday with a delegation from the FBI.
Saturday’s car bomb had caused extensive damage to a local police command center. While there were no fatalities, 14 police officers were injured and 95 percent of the building was damaged, along with neighboring houses, the General Prosecutor's Office (MP) reported. None of the injured were reported to be in critical condition.
President Lenin Moreno called for a state of emergency shortly after the incident, blaming local drug cartels for the attack.
The investigation is seeking to determine if the attack was in retaliation against recent anti-crime operations targeting criminal organizations linked to drug trafficking.
So far, provincial police have determined the explosion was caused by an "explosive artifact of great magnitude," which generated a 50-meter blast.