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Noboa says that the narco-terrorist groups gained strength over years, with roots extending back at least a decade

Published on January 22, 2024

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The President also said that for him re-election is not the priority, asserting that, “making a change in this country is the priority.”

In his first interview following a recent trip to Miami for the birth of his third child, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa addressed the internal armed conflict gripping the nation. He also discussed the deportation from Argentina of relatives linked to alias Fito, an Ecuadorian drug trafficker who managed to escape from a prison in Guayaquil.

Speaking to Colombian radio station LaFM, President Noboa emphasized the escalating influence of drug trade-related groups in the region. He underscored the need for collective regional and global efforts to combat this challenge. Despite Ecuador not being a primary producer, it serves as a transit point for criminal activities. Noboa shed light on the unique characteristics of Ecuador’s economy, such as its dollarized currency and significant port volumes, which contribute to its vulnerability.

Argentine authorities detained and expelled relatives of alias Fito, who arrived in Ecuador around 9:30 on Friday. President Noboa expressed uncertainty about Fito’s location in Peru, where he is thought to be hiding with family, highlighting that such relatives are often involved in money laundering or the operational aspects of cartels and terrorist groups.

In the context of the internal armed conflict, President Noboa stressed the importance of adhering to international humanitarian law. He acknowledged casualties among police, guides, and soldiers, with some suffering physical disabilities or blindness. The toll on human lives and well-being highlighted the urgency of addressing the situation.

Noboa puts narco gangs at the feet of Correa

Responding to former President Rafael Correa’s remarks on the country’s situation, Noboa acknowledged that various governments, including Correa’s, contributed to the current crisis. He described narco-terrorist groups as having gained strength over the years, with roots extending back at least a decade. This historical perspective provided insight into the complex factors fueling the present challenges.

Noboa commented on Correa’s changing attitude, noting volatility in his support. He appealed for support, especially concerning economic measures like the temporary increase in VAT to fund the ongoing conflict. Emphasizing the cost of war, he stated,

“This here is not free; the bullets are not free.” The financial burden of addressing the crisis was a critical aspect that needed attention and support from both domestic and international stakeholders.

Amid the state of war, Noboa emphasized his duty to restore peace to Ecuador, making it clear that re-election is not the priority. He asserted, “Making a change in this country is the priority.” The commitment to transformative change signaled a broader vision for the country’s future beyond the immediate crisis, setting the stage for long-term stability and progress.

Correa deflects blame on ‘them’

Former President Rafael Correa responded to Noboa’s statements on social media, dismissing them as lies and asserting, “The lies of the mediocre are back.” Correa challenged the credibility of the current government with a hashtag, #LosCorruptosSiempreFueronEllos (“The corrupt were always them”).

The exchange of words between current and former leaders highlighted the polarized political landscape and the challenges of consensus-building in the midst of a crisis.

As Ecuador navigates through these complex issues, the international community is watching closely, recognizing the interconnectedness of regional stability and the global fight against organized crime. President Noboa’s call for collective action echoes beyond national borders, emphasizing the need for collaboration in addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by drug trade-related groups.


  1. Correa, like a certain American politician, believes that denying a truth will change it.

  2. Though I was skeptical at the onset of Noboa’s candidacy my support and admiration for him are growing with time. I wish him well.


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