The Ecuadorian political scientist Pablo Medina referred this Friday to the situation in his country, where more than three thousand people were detained during the first 15 days of the declaration of “internal armed conflict” against organized crime, where more than 150 were detained. arrested for alleged terrorism.
“The main issue is to maintain the success achieved in these 15 days,” he said in an interview with In Perspective, and he assured that “there will be victory” on the part of President Daniel Noboa.
At the beginning of January, Ecuador suffered an attack against the state carried out by drug trafficking groups, which included the kidnapping of more than 200 police and prison guards, attacks with explosives, and the armed takeover of a television station in Guayaquil.
Noboa ordered the mobilization of the FF. AA., in addition to a 60-day night curfew, for the prison escape of Adolfo Macías, alias Fito, one of the country’s leading drug dealers. Many groups responded violently, and the Executive declared an “internal armed conflict.”
“Putting FF. AA. In the streets, not only organized crime has decreased, but also common crime,” said Medina.
He also recalled that the country is in an “economic crisis,” which affects the functioning of the state. “The vice minister of the government has announced that they will have problems paying the salaries of public officials at the end of this month,” he said.
In addition, Ecuadorian law enforcement agencies seized more than 35.7 tons of drugs and more than $23,200 in cash.
“These 35 tons represent more or less between 18 and 20% of what is obtained annually in Ecuador,” said Medina.
The political scientist explained that justice “continues to be a weak link” in the country because it is “poorly paid” and “poorly prepared.”
“No matter how well the National Police handles handing over and arresting criminals, once they enter the justice system, they use bribes, intimidation, coercion, or even legal tricks that the prosecutors cannot answer because they are not ready,” he assured.
In that sense, he commented that “another weak link is the social rehabilitation apparatus” and said that it constitutes “an institutional problem in the country.” He pointed out that “most of the prisons are relieved or under control,” but “we can’t speak of complete control either.”
“The problem is that they are controlled by the military forces, but the military forces cannot act as social rehabilitators or manage the prison,” he said.
On the other hand, Ecuador received military aid from the United States to fight organized crime gangs and showed that “at the citizen level, this time, it is very well treated.”
“In the political system, it raises problems, especially for very important forces like the Citizen Revolution Party of former president Rafael Correa,” said Medina.