RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A Police report states that, in 2016, the homicide rate in Ecuador was 5.81 per 100 000 inhabitants, and through October 17, 2021, it rose to 10.62.
That is, in the last six years, the leading indicator of violence in the country doubled.
Read also: Check out our coverage on Ecuador
So far this year, 1,885 homicides have been registered nationwide. In contrast, 2020 closed with 1,372 cases. 59% of the events registered this year are categorized as criminal violence.
One of the main factors for this increase for the police is that criminal gangs fight for territorial spaces to traffic or sell drugs.
The document, which decrees a state of exception in the country to address the wave of insecurity, details that the increase in criminal activity and the homicide rate is also due to a “retaliation against the actions taken by the State to restore public order in territories that had been deprived of adequate surveillance and control such as the airspace of the coastal provinces and inside prisons”.
For criminologist Santiago Argüello, integral security and citizen security “has gotten out of hand for the Ecuadorian State”.
Security expert Diego Pérez agrees that the level of violence registered in the country shows “problems in the State’s control capacity”. He believes that there is a need for a more significant number of police and military. He also believes that the government should provide the security forces with supplies and equipment to fight crime.
After the declaration of the state of exception, the military and police went to the streets. The disposition is to carry out patrols 24 hours a day and carry out operations to control arms, ammunition, and explosives, mainly in the areas with the highest crime rates.