In a meeting this Wednesday at the Carondelet Palace, the headquarters of Ecuador’s executive, the two sides discussed cooperation strategies to combat issues related to drug trafficking, human trafficking, as well as cyber security. Finally, Mayorkas made statements to the press and expressed that Ecuador and the United States are close partners and stressed that the friendship would be long-lasting.
He noted that today’s meeting is a continuation of the talks he had with President Lasso last June in the framework of the Summit of the Americas held in the US city of Los Angeles.
The North American official also mentioned cooperation in cyber security, something he considered an extraordinary challenge, “The advancement of technology can help us prosper, but it is also a vulnerability,” he stressed.
Mayorkas expressed pride in the methodologies and tools developed in both government and the private sector in the United States and announced his intention to share this knowledge on cyber security with Ecuador.
Ecuador’s interior minister, Juan Zapata, said at the meeting they reviewed the status of borders, ports, customs and cyber security plans.
He stressed that several ongoing projects with the United States “have already yielded positive results”, such as the agreement on arms exploration signed in mid-November.
Zapata said that the cooperation of the United States is very important in terms of training and resources, as well as the exchange of data and information.
Mayorcas’ presence in Quito comes as the South American nation faces an insecurity crisis that has prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in the provinces of Guayas, Esmeraldas and Santo Domingo de los Sachilas.
At the end of his visit, the Washington delegation will travel to Colombia, where he will also be received by officials to discuss issues such as the control of migrant flows.
According to analysts, Ecuador is meant to be an enclave of interest to the US government today in view of the political changes in the region.
In the past two months, a delegation of North American senators visited the South American country; Laura Richardson, head of the United States Southern Command; and Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.