The formal declaration that Ecuador is experiencing a “internal armed conflict”as decreed on Tuesday by President Daniel Noboa, has shown to what extent criminal groups have extended their power and presence, palpable both in the penitentiary system and on the streets of some cities such as Guayaquil, and which has translated into levels of homicides without historical precedents.
The political and economic instability of recent years has ended up turning Ecuador, once considered a diamond in the rough of Latin America, into the most violent country in the entire region. The year 2023 closed with some 7,600 violent deaths, which is equivalent to a rate of more than 40 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
The rate skyrockets in certain provinces and, in fact, Spain recommends avoiding trips to the Guayas and Esmeraldas regions, considered the epicenter of crime. In the Nueva Prosperina neighborhood, in Guayaquil, the homicide rate amounts to 114 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to official sources cited by the newspaper ‘El Universo’.
At least ten dead during the wave of violence
At least a dozen people, including two police officers, murdered shot in Nobol, died so far in the unprecedented wave of violence unleashed by criminal organizations in Ecuador, according to local Ecuadorian media.
The last two fatalities of the attacks recorded this Tuesday, which have been reported, are two police officers “vilely murdered by armed criminals” in Nobol who were identified as second corporals Alex Taday and Luis Guanotuña, according to the National Police from Ecuador.
Previously, eight other people were reported dead in organized crime attacks in Guayaquil, the most populous city in Ecuador, capital of the province of Guayas.
Seventy arrested for “the armed conflict”
Seventy people have been arrested so far in Ecuador in operations carried out nationwide, due to the attacks and “terrorist acts” recorded in different parts of the country, according to the Ecuadorian Police.
In a statement on social networks, the Police revealed a preliminary balance of actions, among which they mentioned the release of three police officers who had been kidnapped on Monday and who were released on Tuesday.