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Earlier this year Ecuadorean journalists were kidnapped and murdered near the Colombian border by a criminal group, exemplifying the need for tighter security measures between the neighboring countries.
Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno and Colombian President Ivan Duque met to discuss security along their shared border in the seventh Binational Cabinet in the Carondelet Palace Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Ecuadorean press, journalist Javier Ortega, photojournalist Paul Ricas and their driver Efrain Segarra, of El Comercio who were kidnapped and killed near the Colombian border by a Colombian criminal group known as Oliver Sinisterra Front.
It is suspected that the group's leader, Walter Patricio Arizala, who goes by the alias ‘El Guacho,’ was responsible for abducting and murdering the three men. President Moreno has offered a US$100,000 reward for information leading to ‘Guacho’s’ capture. He was wounded in a military operation in mid-September when he was shot in the back.
Preventative measures to halt human trafficking and smuggling of migrants between the two countries, especially of children and youth, are also anticipated to be addressed.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the two leaders are expected to sign a joint declaration.
President Moreno has been moving the country away from his predecessor leftist policies and forming alliances with the right-wing government in the region including the far-right government of Duque.
Also after the killings of the journalists and multiple bombings at the border allegedly by the same group, the Moreno government asked United States agencies to participate in the investigations, which Moreno's progressive opponents argue is a way for his government to reinstate Washington's former role in the nation, which was eliminated by former President Rafael Correa.