(CNN Spanish) — Faced with the high homicide rates reported during the first weeks of 2022 in Guayaquil and the claims of citizens who say they feel defenseless, the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, ordered this Sunday a greater deployment of members of the Armed Forces and the National Police to guard high crime areas of the city.
Lasso said that the mafias related to drug trafficking are being persecuted and attacked from the State and that this is causing consequences such as settling scores and violent deaths that are recorded in the streets of Guayaquil and other cities in the country.
“So far in 2022, the first three (weeks) of January, we have seized 15 tons of cocaine, which is equivalent to triple what was seized in the same month of the previous year. The territory of the mafias where they acted has been reduced without the presence of the State. The settling of accounts is the effect of these seizures that generate enormous economic losses for international mafias and provoke competition between the different drug gangs,” Lasso pointed out during a press conference held in Guayaquil.
Lasso arranged for Deputy Government Minister Max Campos to travel to Guayaquil so that he could establish an operations center there to coordinate the work of 1,100 additional police officers deployed in this city and to be able to respond immediately to any violent event.
The President of Ecuador announced the appointment of General Carlos Fernando Cabrera as the new Commander General of the National Police, replacing General Tannya Varela, whom he thanked for her duties.
He also said that an additional US$9 million will be made available for security in Guayaquil.
He added that during the week that begins, he will send a bill to regulate the progressive use of force, improve cooperation between the Armed Forces and the Police, and ensure the legal sponsorship of public force servants when they are prosecuted or investigated for the fulfillment of their duties. functions.
So far in 2022, more than 70 intentional homicides have been registered in the city of Guayaquil alone, according to the Ministry of Government. In January 2021, 29 were registered.