Ecuador will receive senior military officers and anti-narcotics agents from the United States to fight organized crime

General Laura Richardson, head of the US Southern Command (Reuters/Kevin Lamarck)

America will send the chief of Southern Command General Laura RichardsonThe North American State Department said this Thursday that senior anti-narcotics and diplomatic officials have gone to Ecuador to examine with the government of President Daniel Noboa how it tackles organized crime.

Ecuador suffers from “brutal levels of violence and terrorism” “Intoxicating criminal elements who target innocent civilians”“More than 100 prison guards are being held hostage,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“We reaffirm our commitment to maintain very close cooperation With Ecuador, involved in the fight against criminal organizations,” he said.

US President Joe Biden’s government has been condemning the terror sown in the country for several days. About twenty drug trafficking gangs And has shown itself willing to cooperate but without going into details. The State Department statement on “Drug-criminal violence in Ecuador” provided more details.

“We will work with President Noboa to deepen our law enforcement cooperation through security assistance programs,” he says.

Washington will take a step forward and send senior officials to speed up cooperation “In the coming weeks”.

Their goal: “To explore with our Ecuadorian counterparts ways we can work together more effectively to confront the threat posed by transnational criminal organizations.”

Todd Robinson, United States Department of State Assistant Secretary for International Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (Reuters/Luisa Gonzalez)

Chief among the officers is General Laura Richardson, Todd Robinson, Under Secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, and Kevin Sullivan, a senior official in the State Department’s Latin America Office.

they will also travel American police “To assist Ecuador in its criminal investigation,” the statement said.

The United States will also increase “intelligence sharing, cooperation to combat malicious cyber activity, and assistance in the implementation of prison reforms.”

It also plans to use “other available tools to hold accountable individuals and organizations that participate in criminal activities and undermine the rule of law.”

Violence in Ecuador has escalated this week due to organized crime, including riots, kidnappings, explosions, assaults at several prisons and even an armed attack on a television station in the city of Guayaquil.

Facing these episodes, the government has announced “Internal armed conflict” And these gangs are considered terrorist groups and military objectives.

The increase in violence came as the new Noboa government was preparing to implement a plan to seize control of Ecuador’s prisons, many of them internally dominated by these groups.

This violence has now reached the streets of Ecuador too one of the most violent countries in the worldThere will be 45 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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