QUITO ( Associated Press) – United States Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday offered Ecuador more cooperation and information sharing to combat organized crime, adding to the problems facing President Guillermo Lasso’s government. since a.
Lasso has urged permanent cooperation from the United States and European countries to combat the growing power of the cartel and organized crime, which has manifested in violent riots and massacres inside the country’s main state prisons, where criminal Gangs fight over drug routes and territories. Smuggling.
Last year, Ecuador became the third country in the world with the most drug seizures, mainly cocaine, with 210 tonnes seized. By the beginning of December this year, the police had seized 180.5 tonnes.
On his Twitter account, Mayorkas said that in the meeting with Lasso they discussed opportunities to strengthen the bilateral alliance. “Our partnership and friendship is based on shared values and a commitment to enhance the security of our democracies.”
Institutional strengthening of law enforcement and regional migration management were other topics discussed during the bilateral meeting.
In a little over a year and a half in office, the Ecuadorian president has also met with the first lady of the United States, the head of the Southern Command and other military chiefs, and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs of the State Department.
Mayorkas continued his trip to Colombia and met Friday with leftist President Gustavo Petro and his cabinet.
Migration was a central issue, as Colombia is a transit country for thousands of migrants heading to the north of the continent and risks crossing the dangerous Darien jungle. Which connects to the border of Panama.
Mayorkas assured in an official statement in Bogotá that this is a hemispherical challenge that also requires a regional solution that seeks to respect the human rights of asylum seekers while following the laws of the respective countries. He said that it is necessary that more and more opportunities are created for people to stay in the countries where they belong instead of trying to migrate.
Colombia’s Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said a Latin American conference would be held in the first half of 2023 to address the migrant phenomenon in the region.