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Common crime grows in Guayas, Esmeraldas and Santo Domingo

Published on November 29, 2022

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Along with organized crime that hit the three provinces causing a state of emergency, official data shows that robberies also increased up to 67% in 2022.

After the wave of narco-terrorist attacks at the beginning of November, President Guillermo Lasso declared Guayas, Esmeraldas and Santo Domingo in a new state of emergency to stop the security crisis.

According to the hypothesis that the Government pushes, there is an increase in violence and insecurity linked to drug trafficking and organized crime in these provinces.

Both Esmeraldas and Guayas have a homicide rate of 33 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest in the country.

Santo Domingo ranks sixth, with 26 violent deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, but in this province the crisis is aggravated by its strategic location for drug gangs.

According to Juan Zapata, Minister of the Interior, 80% of violent deaths are due to disputes between organized crime groups.

But it’s not just gang disputes causing problems in these three provinces. Data from the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) show that common crime has also increased in the first eight months of 2022.

Compared to 2021, thefts have grown in Esmeraldas by 67%, in Santo Domingo the increase is 65%; and in Guayas, 29%.

More robberies of people, motorcycles and cars

The Prosecutor’s Office, with data crossed with the INEC and the National Police, recorded 21,679 robberies in these three provinces thru August 2022. This number represents 42% of the national total.

The statistics are divided into six types of robberies:

  • Homes
  • Individuals
  • Auto parts
  • Cars
  • Motorcycles
  • Businesses

In Guayas, 46% of the robberies committed between January and August 2022 were against people. While motorcycles and home robberies, with 18% and 16%, respectively, are the next targets for criminals.

In Esmeraldas, on the other hand, 41% of the robberies were against people, and 34% were motorcycle thefts. According to the authorities, this is because the narco- criminal gangs use these vehicles for contract killings and then abandon them.

Finally, in Santo Domingo, something different happens. Car thefts, with 32% of cases, are above robberies of people.

National growth

The increase in robberies in 2022 is also evident throughout the country, according to official data. Compared to the first eight months of 2021, there was an increase of 29%.

There are more robberies at homes, people, auto parts, cars, motorcycles and businesses.

Between January and August 2022, the provinces where the most thefts were reported were Pichincha, Guayas, Los Ríos, El Oro and Manabí. Followed by  Santo Domingo, Esmeraldas and Azuay.


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