Ecuador declares a state of emergency in seven provinces due to the increase in violence

It is the second emergency situation that the country has decreed this year as part of its fight against drug trafficking gangs.

(AFP/Voz Media) This Wednesday, Ecuador declared  a state of emergency in seven of the country´s provinces. Specifically, the president announced through a press release, the coastal provinces of Guayas, El Oro, Santa Elena, Manabí and Los Ríos as well as the Amazonian areas of Sucumbíos and Orellana and the population of Camilo Ponce Enríquez (located in the Andean Azuay) will maintain this state of emergency, which allows the deployment of soldiers in the streets, during the next 60 days due to increased violence in the last weeks.

An increase that has been observed due to the various massacres that have taken place in the country since the government, headed by Daniel Noboa, began a fight against drug trafficking gangs last January.

Ecuador begins a second phase against drug trafficking

But the situation has not improved and for this reason, the president said in a video, he has been forced to decree this state of emergency while his government begins the second phase of its fight against drug trafficking.

This state allowed Noboa, who has held the position of president of Ecuador since November 2023, to suspend the rights to the inviolability of the home and correspondence, according to AFP.

This new state of emergency comes months after the January escape of criminal leader Adolfo "Fito" Macías from a prison sparked violence. A situation that caused various prison riots, attacks against the press, car bomb explosions and the temporary retention of some 200 prison officials and police officers, in addition to around twenty deaths.

Given this, Noboa decreed a state of emergency that lasted the 90 days allowed by law. Along with this, he declared the country to be in a state of internal armed conflict. This state can remain, according to the Constitutional Court, for an indefinite period of time and allowed Noboa to order the military to neutralize twenty criminal gangs with links to the Albanian mafia and the cartels of Mexico and Colombia, which he described as "terrorists" and "belligerents."