Ecuador city declares state of emergency amid dramatic rise in gang bombings

Ecuador’s embattled president, Guillermo Lasso, has declared a fourth state of emergency in the violence-plagued city of Guayaquil after a deadly bomb attack left at least five dead and 17 injured.

Ecuador’s interior minister, Patricio Carrillo, described Sunday’s explosion as a “declaration of war on the state” by organized crime in the country’s largest city and classified it as an act of terrorism. Security forces will be mobilized for a month and allowed to search the house.

Images from the scene showed cars in the Cristo de Consuelo neighborhood in the working-class neighborhood with torn-out fronts and bloodied windows. Eight houses and two cars were destroyed in the early morning blast, officials said.

The bombing marks a dramatic increase in violent tactics used by criminal gangs in Ecuador’s largest city, which has seen An exponential rise in murders as rival gangs battle for dominance in cocaine trafficking Europe and US routes.

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Colombia and Peru, the world’s biggest cocaine producers, have seen shocking levels of violence in Ecuador, including six brutalized corpses hanged from pedestrian bridges. Prison massacre In which nearly 400 prisoners have died since February 2021.

Following this order, 11 raids have been conducted in the city and five people have been arrested, Carrillo told reporters on Monday.

“What worries us the most is capacity [the gang] Now the ingredients have to be prepared domestically,” Carrillo Tweeted After detonation, referring to explosives used in action. “We are investigating how we are reaching this capacity to commit barbaric acts.”

The incident is the deadliest yet in a dramatic increase in the country’s bombings, 145 so far this year, half of which occurred in Guayaquil. Government statistics.

“Criminal gangs have become the government in Ecuador,” wrote the mayor of Guayaquil. Cynthia Viteriin one open letter Lasso, who took over as president last year, posted on Twitter.

“We have seen hangings from bridges, planned murders on motorcycles, rapes in shopping malls and school buses,” she wrote. “Extortion was extorted from innocent shopkeepers and over a dozen children died due to stray bullets.”

“The President is the protector of his people but so far we have not seen any safe step to tackle crime,” the letter added. “Who’s in charge here, organized crime or the slave government?”

on Twitter, Lasso responded that the enemy “is narco-terrorism … not the government”, adding that “in countries that have lived through this painful experience, the authorities act in unity and are not divided”. However, he has faced criticism for showing no sign of abating in the escalating violence.

Guayaquil was one of them 50 Most Violent Cities According to Insight Crime, a think tank, the Ecuadorian city appeared on the list for the first time in 2021.



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