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Ecuador’s Safest Regions Highlight 25 Murder-Free Cantons in 14 Years

Published on June 10, 2024

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What are the safest places in Ecuador? In 25 cantons across 11 provinces, there have been no violent deaths since at least 2010.

The record of violent deaths in the cantons of Ecuador has been public since January 2010, with the latest update in April 2024. In those 14 years and four months, 33,832 murders were committed in the country.

Ecuador is politically divided into 24 provinces, which are further subdivided into 221 cantons or cities. Between 2010 and April 2024, criminal violence has reached 196 cantons, representing 89% of the national total.

This means only 25 cantons in the entire country have not had this type of crime. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this is the main indicator of the level of danger and violence in a territory.

These are the 25 cantons without violent deaths since January 2010:

Small and Remote Cantons

The province with the most cantons without violent deaths is Azuay. In total, six of its 15 cities have not experienced these crimes. This list includes the five cantons with the small populations.

For example, El Pan has only 2,776 inhabitants, according to the latest measurement by the Ecuadorian Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC). This is a small canton located along the route to the Paute Hydroelectric Power Plant.

Also on the list is Chordeleg, which has 12,197 inhabitants. This canton is known internationally and is quite touristy due to its notable jewelry and craft activities.

Next are the provinces of Carchi, Loja, and Zamora Chinchipe. Each has three cantons without murders. The distinctive feature of these three provinces is that they are border areas: Carchi with Colombia, and Loja and Zamora Chinchipe with Peru.

These are also small cantons. For example, San Pedro de Huaca in Carchi has 7,937 inhabitants. This small city, known for its dairy products and tubers, is located next to the Pan-American highway that leads to Tulcán on the border with Colombia.

In Chimborazo, El Oro, and the Galapagos, there are two cantons in each where no murders have occurred. In Chimborazo, these are Chunchi and Penipe, small cantons with predominantly indigenous populations that are mainly dedicated to agriculture.

Finally, Cañar, Morona Santiago, Pastaza, and Tungurahua each have one canton on this list. Among these, Mocha in Tungurahua stands out. This small canton is recognized for its gastronomy, particularly for its traditional preparation of guinea pig.

More than 33,800 murders in 176 months

Between January 2010 and April 2024, a span of 14 years and four months, or 5,233 days, 33,832 people were murdered in Ecuador.

Unsurprisingly, 25.8% of these violent deaths occurred in a single canton: Guayaquil, in Guayas. In total, 8,742 crimes of this type were recorded in the main port.

The list of cantons with the most violent deaths in 14 years includes, in addition to Guayaquil, Guayaquil, are Quito (2,334), Esmeraldas (1,298), Durán 1,130), Quevedo (1,112), Santo Domingo (1,000), Manta (996), Machala (881), Babahoyo (744) and Portoviejo (715).

1 Comment

  1. And yet, there is no mention of the horrible house invasions that have been happening in Southern Ecuador – and one of these invasions caused the death of a wonderful woman who was trying to save her father from being stabbed.

    The majority of the invasions were directed at older persons who were tied up with zip-ties as the thugs emptied those people’s homes of everything from electronics, to money and even furniture.


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