President Guillermo Lasso has made an appeal to the United Nations through this committee, seeking greater cooperation and the initiation of technical assistance projects to effectively combat the rising insecurity in the country.
The Committee against Terrorism is set to conduct an in-depth analysis of the prevailing violence in Ecuador, a matter that has captured the attention of the international community. President Guillermo Lasso has called upon the United Nations Committee to provide essential cooperation and technical assistance in addressing the escalating insecurity within the nation.
Ecuador has witnessed a surge in extreme violence over the past two and a half years, necessitating immediate attention and concerted efforts to restore stability. President Guillermo Lasso convened a crucial meeting on October 24, 2023, in the capital city of Quito, where he met with Nathalia Gherman, the executive director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee. The primary objective of the meeting was to request the United Nations’ support and collaboration in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime.
President Lasso shared his meeting with Nathalia Gherman on social media, stating, “This afternoon I met with Nathalia Gherman, executive director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee, a delegation that has recognized the commitment of the Ecuadorian Government in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime.”
Lasso emphasized the importance of international cooperation in addressing these complex and multifaceted issues.
The meeting also highlighted Ecuador’s achievements in combating drug trafficking. President Lasso expressed that Gherman had commended Ecuador’s “policies and actions of zero tolerance for drug trafficking.”
Ecuador’s successes in this area are evident as it was ranked third in the world for the most seizures of narcotic substances in 2021, outperforming numerous nations, with only Colombia and the United States ahead of it, according to the United Nations World Drug Report. These achievements underscore the government’s dedication to confronting transnational crime.
While President Lasso’s tenure is set to conclude at the end of November, alongside the transition of power to the young businessman Daniel Noboa, he remains steadfast in his resolve to make security a top priority during his last days in office. Addressing the issue of insecurity is critical for the nation’s stability, and Lasso’s commitment to this cause is unwavering.
Lasso added, “We have also requested that through this Committee, new cooperation and technical assistance projects can be managed, on priority issues to confront the insecurity situation that Ecuador is going through. The importance of international support and collaboration cannot be overstated in addressing Ecuador’s complex security challenges.”
President Lasso expressed his gratitude for the openness and commitment of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee, which has proposed conducting an extended analysis of the current situation. This analysis will consider the best practices and approaches that Ecuador has implemented to combat terrorism and transnational crime.
Shocking increase in violence
The issue of security in Ecuador has reached alarming levels, as reported by the Human Security Observatory. The statistics related to violence in the country are indeed shocking. In 2022, Ecuador recorded 25.62 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. However, experts anticipate that this number could increase to a staggering 40 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023. The grim projections paint a dire picture of the current state of insecurity in Ecuador.
Certain cities within Ecuador, such as Guayaquil and Esmeraldas, have experienced particularly distressing levels of violence. In Guayaquil, the homicide rate reached a staggering 47.77 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in Esmeraldas, it surged to an astonishing 139.07. These figures place Esmeraldas among the top three most violent places in the world, as reported by the Observatory. The severity of the violence in these cities is a cause for great concern, and urgent action is needed to address the root causes of this crisis.
Ecuadorian authorities have attributed the surge in violence to the actions of organized crime groups that are closely connected to international drug trafficking networks. Ecuador has unwittingly become a significant hub for global cocaine trafficking, thereby exacerbating the country’s security challenges.