SOUTHCOM Commander Richardson Meets Ecuadorian President Noboa

January 23, 2024 Hour: 9:34 am

On Monday, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa held a meeting with SOUTHCOM Commander Gen. Laura Richardson, Special Presidential Advisor for the Americas Christopher Dodd, the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador Mike Fitzpatrick, and Deputy Undersecretary of the Office of Anti-Narcotics Affairs Christopher Landberg.


Gen. Richardson and High-Ranking US Officials Visit Ecuador

Their meeting took place at the Carondelet Palace in Quito amid strict security measures in a country that is going through a 60-day state of emergency due to the “Internal Armed Conflict” between the Ecuadorian State and criminal groups linked to international drug trafficking.

On January 9, President Noboa declared an “internal armed conflict” in response to a wave of attacks and violent actions attributed to drug trafficking gangs.

In less than a week, these criminal murdered police officers, planted bombs, set vehicles on fire, and kidnapped police officers and prison guides during riots in the country’s main prisons.

After the high-level meeting, the U.S. Embassy in Quito highlighted that the U.S.-Ecuador security cooperation includes information exchange to fight criminal organizations, bilateral and multinational capacity-building exercises, and humanitarian assistance missions.

Also present at the meeting were Ecuadorian officials such as Defense Minister Giancarlo Loffredo, Interior Minister Monica Palencia, Foreign Affairs Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld, Ecuador’s ambassador to the U.S. Ivonne Baki, and officers of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces.

The presence of U.S. authorities “is a powerful and concrete political signal of U.S. support for the Noboa administration in the internal armed conflict against terrorism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime,” Sommerfeld said.

The U.S. delegation will remain in this Andean country for four days and will hold meetings with the authorities to evaluate the security threats generated by organized crime gangs.

Prior to the meeting with U.S. officials, President Noboa confirmed that his administration will accept the U.S. assistance, weapons, equipment, and intelligence.

Autor: teleSUR/ JF

Fuente: EFE - Pichincha Comunicaciones

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