Ecuador’s Armed Forces ordered to carry out immediate operations against terrorism

Ecuador’s Armed Forces ordered to carry out immediate operations against terrorism

QUITO, May 5 (NNN-MERCOPRESS) — Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso issued an executive decree ordering the Armed Forces to carry out immediate operations nationwide to confront and counteract “terrorist” individuals and organizations, it was announced.

Lasso ordered “the Joint Command of the Armed Forces to initiate, immediately, the corresponding actions to repress the terrorist threat, with all the means at its disposal, in coordination with the National Police,” the Office of the President said in a statement.

The military forces must execute these actions in compliance with their mission to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and to protect the rights, liberties, and guarantees of its citizens, in view of the current wave of insecurity.

Military actions shall be carried out in accordance with international instruments, as well as the provisions of the Constitution and the internal legal system of the Ecuadorian State, it was also explained.

The decree also orders the National Service of Integral Attention to Adults Deprived of Liberty and Adolescent Offenders (SNAI) to “take strict security measures for military and police personnel who, as a result of military and police anti-terrorist operations, are subjected to criminal judicial proceedings, in order to guarantee their integrity in detention centers”.

These measures were taken as per a resolution issued last April 27 by the Council of Public and State Security (Cosepe), the highest advisory body of the Government, which declared terrorism as a “threat” to the State and recommended the President to issue a decree establishing “coercive, urgent and effective measures that include the use of lethal weapons to combat this serious threat that affects the Ecuadorian people.”

Ecuador is experiencing an escalation of insecurity which the Government attributes to the actions of criminal gangs linked to drug trafficking, which in recent months have provoked violent acts such as bombings, armed attacks, extortion, kidnappings, murders, and other crimes.

In this scenario, Ecuadorian police Wednesday seized in one of the seaports of the coastal city of Guayaquil nearly three tons of cocaine hidden in a container loaded with sacks of flour bound for Germany.

“With this operation, we took out of circulation more than 29 million doses of narcotics,” the Police specified in a video it shared on Twitter about the seizure, but without giving details on whether or not there were any arrests during the operation.

Lasso, who blames drug trafficking for the increase in crime and violence, Wednesday received from Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s personal invitation to attend the Unasur summit in Brasilia on May 30.

“I am the envoy of President Lula to deliver to President Lasso a letter of invitation for the summit of South American presidents in Brazil on May 30, to discuss issues of interest to our region, issues of integration and cooperation,” said the Brazilian diplomat at a press conference in Quito.

Vieira stressed that “the objective of this summit will be to create the opportunity for a frank exchange of perspectives that will pave the way towards a renewed South American integration.”

“Ecuador and Brazil, two vibrant democracies, maintain a solid relationship and an intense bilateral agenda,” Vieira added.


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