Ecuadoreans have begun voting in a referendum on proposed tougher measures to fight gang-related crime

Miss Zomboko

JF-Expert Member
May 18, 2014
4,521
9,325
Ecuadoreans have begun voting in a referendum on proposed tougher measures to fight gang-related crime as the country faces rising violence that has seen two mayors killed in a week.

The majority of 11 questions posed to voters on Sunday focus on tightening security measures. Proposals include deploying the army in the fight against the gangs, loosening obstacles to extradition of accused criminals and lengthening prison sentences for convicted drug traffickers.

The rising insecurity in Ecuador has been blamed on gangs with links to transnational cartels using its ports to ship drugs to the United States and Europe.

nized crime”, said President Daniel Noboa as voting began at the Electoral Council in the capital Quito.

Noboa declared in January a state of “internal armed conflict” with about 20 criminal groups blamed for a spasm of violence prompted by the jailbreak of a drug boss, still on the run.

Gang members kidnapped dozens of people, including police and prison guards, opened fire in a TV studio during a live broadcast, and threatened random executions.

Noboa imposed a state of emergency and deployed soldiers to retake control of the country’s prisons, which had become the hub for gang operations and a bloody battleground that has claimed the lives of more than 460 inmates in three years.

Despite these efforts, the violence has persisted, which Noboa has taken as “a sign that narcoterrorism and its allies are looking for spaces to terrorize us”.
 
Back
Top Bottom