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Dramatic Reduction in Violence: Zone 8 Police Chief Highlights Success of Joint Operations

Published on February 13, 2024

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In a recent interview, Zone 8 Police Commander General Víctor Herrera, revealed significant strides in combating violent crime in the region.

Since the declaration of a state of emergency, accompanied by a curfew, the operational deployment of military and police forces has yielded positive results.

General Víctor Herrera, the Police Commander of Zone 8 comprising Guayaquil, Durán, and Samborondón reported a notable decline in violent deaths week by week, starting from January 8, coinciding with the imposition of the state of emergency. This decline is attributed to joint operations targeting criminal gangs, 22 of which are classified as terrorist groups by the Government.

Statistics provided by Herrera underscore the effectiveness of these interventions. In the first week of January, there were 102 murders, which plummeted to 15 homicides between January 29th and February 4th. Overall, from January 1st to February 5, 2024, there were 202 homicides recorded in Zone 8.

One of the most significant achievements was the apprehension of eight individuals, including high-value targets known as “Mocho” and “Comandante,” affiliated with the notorious Los Choneros criminal gang. Additionally, 20 targets of intermediate value were arrested in Guayaquil, Durán, and Samborondón during the period from January 8th to February 4th.

Intervention efforts are working

General Herrera expressed optimism about the ongoing intervention, emphasizing that the downward trend in violent deaths must be sustained. He highlighted recent alerts regarding potential attacks on police facilities, demonstrating the ongoing threat posed by criminal elements.

Regarding the arrests made during the state of emergency, Herrera disclosed that a total of 967 individuals were detained in Zone 8 between January 8th and February 4th. These arrests included individuals involved in illicit drug trafficking, possession of weapons, kidnapping for ransom, theft, and terrorism-related activities. The police seized 267 firearms, 133 motorcycles, 88 vehicles, and substantial quantities of ammunition.

Addressing concerns about the processing of detainees, Herrera assured that firm arrests had been made, and measures were in place to ensure that the justice system effectively dealt with them. He stressed the importance of exemplary sentences to deter recidivism and uphold the rule of law.

Herrera also emphasized the coordination between law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in securing convictions and imposing stringent penalties on criminals.

When asked about the impact of interventions on specific criminal groups, Herrera outlined targeted operations against various gangs operating in different districts within Zone 8. These efforts aimed to disrupt drug trafficking networks, extortion rackets, and other illicit activities sustaining criminal organizations.

Regarding the intervention in prisons, Herrera explained the strategic objective of weakening gang leadership and restoring order within correctional facilities. He emphasized the correlation between prison stability and street violence, underlining the significance of reclaiming control over prison operations.

General Herrera reiterated the commitment of law enforcement agencies to maintain pressure on criminal networks, emphasizing the ongoing nature of interventions and the need for sustained cooperation between security forces and the justice system. He expressed confidence that continued efforts would lead to further reductions in violent crime, not only in Zone 8 but across the nation.

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