Ecuador Declares State of Emergency Amidst Wave of Violence
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency and imposed night curfews in three coastal provinces following a surge of violence over the weekend.
The unrest resulted in at least eight fatalities and raised concerns about the influence of organized crime in the country. The state of emergency was enacted in the provinces of Manabi and Los Rios, as well as in the city of Duran, near Guayaquil.
This wave of violence was kicked off by the assassination of Agustin Intriago, the mayor of Manta, who was shot dead on Sunday during an inspection of public works. Additionally, riots erupted in the Penitenciaria del Litoral prison in Guayaquil, involving clashes between rival gangs.
A Growing Crisis of Violence and Criminal Infiltration
The recent wave of violence and the assassination of the Manta mayor raise serious concerns about power and existence of gangs in the country.
The escalating violence and prison riots highlight systemic problems in the country’s penitentiary system. Ecuador’s prison system has claimed the lives of at least 400 people in frequent confrontations since 2021. The situation in the prisons has raised concerns from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The state of emergency and curfew measures aim to restore order and security in the affected regions, but they also underscore the ongoing challenges Ecuador faces in addressing criminal activities and power struggles among gangs.
Breaking Down The Details
Agustin Intriago, the mayor of Manta, was shot dead during an inspection this past Sunday. Investigations into the motive behind the attack are ongoing.
Also, rioting occurred in the Penitenciaria del Litoral prison in Guayaquil, with clashes between rival gangs.
At least eight people were killed.
The state of emergency will be in effect for 60 days, with varying curfew regulations, as authorities attempt to regain control.