Candidate Assassination Fernando Villavicencio This was marked not only before and during the election campaign, but also in the citizens’ demands to effectively confront and stop the wave of violence once and for all.
WATCH: Ecuador elects president with ‘tough hand’ on crime as key campaign promise
On the streets of Quito, the August 9 crime continues to be a current topic of conversation.
A few days before the murder VillavicencioAgustin Intriago, mayor of Manta, was killed in the attack.
Fear of guilt also leads to self-censorship, with a political analyst not testifying about the political and security conditions in the newspaper. Ecuador He said he feared for his physical integrity.
Organized crime and drug-trafficking have hit the cities hard, especially along the coast In Guayaquil, Duran and Esmeraldas.
The battle between gangs of killers for supremacy in the drug-trafficking business is largely controlled Mexican cartelsThe homicide rate has risen to 25 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in South America.
But not only Mexican mafias The Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel They are the foremost perpetrators of violence. According to Ecuadorian officials, there is a reserve in the Colombian country. The Pacific Cartel and the Albanian Mafia.
According to Inside Crime, Ecuador is a strategic location for cocaine trafficking. and a boom in alkaloid production Colombia And with changes in global consumption patterns, the country has become increasingly important to traditional markets such as the US and emerging markets in Europe and Asia.
Data from Seizure of cocaine Confirm this condition. In 2015, Ecuadorian authorities seized 63 tons of cocaine. Over the next two years, more than 80 tons were seized annually. In 2018, only 35 tons were confiscated as a result of the peace process in Colombia. But seizures increased again in 2019, with the country breaking a record in 2021 with the seizure of 210 tons of cocaine. In 2022, it recorded seizures of nearly 180 tonnes of cocaine, Crime Intelligence details.
The problem is not only on the streets but also in prisons Ecuador They are dominated by the same gangs who kill each other every day.
Eleven prison massacres have occurred since 2021 Ecuador More than 400 people have died, the majority In Guayaquil.
The violence has led many citizens who can afford it to step up their own security measures, either by armoring their cars or buying bulletproof vests.
A car can be armored for $20,000, while a bulletproof vest and helmet costs $280.
According to Premisias Portal, only In Guayaquil There are 16 companies dedicated to armoring cars.
In May this year, Primisias calculated based on the company’s data About 20,000 armored vehicles roll around in Guayaquil, while there are about 50,000 nationwide.
Now, all 8 presidential candidates have concluded their campaigns with a promise to fight insecurity.
High unemployment rate
According to local analysts, one of the consequences of the crime wave Economic crisis A country dweller
Ecuador’s central bank has cut its growth forecast for 2023 from 3.1% to 2.6%.
According to the National Statistics and Population Census, poverty was 25.2% in December 2022 and extreme poverty was 8.2%.
Besides, 70% of economically active population Unemployed or informally employed.
UNICEF finds out Ecuador The country with the second highest incidence in Latin America and the Caribbean Child chronic malnutrition with 27.2%.
FDI as a percentage of GDP, according to World Bank data It averaged only 1% over the past 20 years, at $890 million, much lower than other countries in the region..
Ecuador Also experiences a decrease in income as a result of the sale Petroleum. According to the finance ministry, public coffers received $991 million from oil in the January-July period, up from $2,307 million in the same period in 2022.
In this context of falling crude oil revenues, this Sunday Ecuadorians will also have to answer the question of oil exploitation in the forest. YasuniIt’s an Amazon presence.
“Do you agree that the Ecuadorian government will keep the ITT crude oil, known as Block 43, underground indefinitely?” That’s a question for voters to answer.
Oil exploitation Yasuni It started 10 years ago, when Rafael Correa was president. The exploited area consists of 230 wells producing 57,000 barrels of oil per day. Last year they made a net profit of $1,200 million.
What is the challenge for the next president? Political Analyst and Executive Director of Citizenship and Development Foundation Mauricio Salvador-Alarcon He said Trade The country’s conditions are weighted heavily for reviving the economy. He said that with legal and physical security, there may be some incentives for foreign and national investment to come in and thus revive the stalled economic sectors.