The North American team is made up of President Joe Biden’s advisor, Christopher Dodd; the head of the Southern Command, Laura Richardson; the deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Christopher Landberg; and others.
The delegation, which will remain in Ecuadorian territory until January 25, seeks to facilitate cooperation in security matters and analyze collaborative methods to face the threats of transnational criminal organizations,” said the US embassy in Quito.
The officials’ agenda includes meetings with the president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa; the ministers of defense, government, foreign affairs, and economy and finance; senior military and police officers; as well as representatives of civil society.
This is the second visit of Dodd and Richardson to the Ecuadorian territory in the last two years, since they were there during the order of former president Guillermo Lasso.
Many analysts have warned that the security crisis Ecuador is going through and the declaration of internal armed conflict could be an opportunity for the United States to deepen its military presence.
President Noboa recently mentioned that he accepts collaboration from the United States with the possibility of working with intelligence organizations such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and anti-narcotics units in training, equipment, weapons management, and intelligence.
Ecuador suffers from an indisputable security crisis that began long before the events that took place around the world on January 9. However, the increase in violence in recent days indicates a change and raises many questions as to what is behind it.
This Andean country is currently the state in the region that receives the most US military aid, estimated at 172 million dollars between 2021 and 2022.
It added that, in October, two weeks before the presidential election that gave victory to Noboa, former President Lasso signed a defense cooperation agreement with the administration of Joe Biden that provided privileges, immunity, and guarantees of personnel. American military and civilian.
For the professor of the Central University of Ecuador, Luis Córdova, the visit of US officials has the purpose of implementing the “Ecuador Plan” under the mask of Plan Fénix, as Noboa calls his security strategy.