Ecuador has recorded the bloodiest massacres in its history. While 79 people were murdered in prisons in February, 118 inmates died in September. In both cases, Lasso vowed that the violent acts would never happen again.
On Friday, President Guillermo Lasso increased one month to the state of emergency decreed on October 18 to stop the security crisis in Ecuador.
The measure will be applicable in El Oro, Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabi, Esmeraldas, Sucumbios, and Pichincha, which are the provinces most affected by the increase in criminal violence.
The renewal of the state of exception seeks to "safeguard the rights of the people, control the circumstances of insecurity, and restore peaceful coexistence and public order," the Communication Secretary said.
While this period of exception lasts, the Armed Forces are authorized to carry out operations against crime, searches of establishments or homes, and requisition of weapons and illegal substances. The renewal of the emergency comes a few days after a new massacre at the Guayaquil Litoral Penitentiary, in which 68 inmates died over the weekend. This tragedy, however, was not exceptional.
Last night 68 prisoners were massacred inside the #PenitenciariaDelLitoral, as their families say security forces made no attempts to stop the carnage.— Ecuador On Q (@Ecuador_On_Q) November 13, 2021
Meanwhile, President Guillermo Lasso and other high officials gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the US Marines. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/QYkIQo6zsP
So far this year, Ecuador has registered the bloodiest massacres in its history. While 79 people were murdered in prisons in February, 118 inmates died in September. In both cases, the Lasso administration vowed that the violent acts would never happen again. These promises, however, were not kept.
The Ecuadorian government justifies the prevailing chaos by arguing that the events in the prisons are a reflection of a fight by drug gangs in the streets of the country. The severe increase in crime, however, is also associated with a serious economic crisis that Lasso has not been able to overcome.
"Ecuador went from being a transit nation to a drug storage one. From January to October, the Police seized 167 tons of drugs... In a country with 17.7 million residents, the homicide rate went from 7.8 to 10.6 murders per 100,000 residents," outlet DW recalled.