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US officials to visit Ecuador amid narco-criminal violence

By Caribbean News Global fav

USA / ECUADOR – US Department of State on Thursday announced that US officials will visit Ecuador, “to accelerate that cooperation, senior US officials will visit Ecuador in the coming weeks to explore with Ecuadorian counterparts ways we can work together more effectively to confront the threat posed by transnational criminal organizations.” 

These officials include Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Assistant Secretary Todd Robinson, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Kevin Sullivan, Commander of US Southern Command General Laura Richardson.

Ecuador has descended into violence that frightens peace in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ecuador’s president, Daniel Noboa, has ordered the armed forces to restore order after days of unrest.

“Since January 9, Ecuador has experienced appalling levels of violence and terrorism at the hands of narco-criminal elements targeting innocent civilians. More than 100 prison guards are being held hostage in multiple locations. The United States condemns these attacks and the criminals responsible,” the US Department of State said in a press statement. “We reaffirm our commitment to a close partnership with Ecuador, including in the fight against criminal organizations. We will work with president Noboa to deepen our law enforcement cooperation through US security assistance programs.”

Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States, in his weekly commentary, advised that – action on criminal gangs and guns is urgent.

“These events starkly illustrate a broader crisis, one that extends its menacing grip across Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Ecuador, nestled between the world’s two largest cocaine producers, Colombia and Peru, faces the dire consequences of its geographic vulnerability. The United Nations Global Report on Cocaine 2023 reveals a record surge in cocaine production, with Ecuador serving as a tragic victim of its easily accessible coastal routes.

“However, Ecuador’s plight is not a solitary narrative; it is a haunting prelude to a region-wide symphony of chaos.

“The issue of gangs, guns, and violence cannot be confined within borders. Governments are now awakening to the problem, but it has already spiralled out of control in some nations, while others are teetering on the brink.” ~ Sir Ronald Sanders. 

The US Department of State has also announced that “US law enforcement officials will also travel to assist Ecuador in criminal investigations. In addition, the United States will increase intelligence sharing, cooperation to combat malicious cyber activity, and assistance with the implementation of prison reforms and will employ other available tools to hold accountable those individuals and organizations engaging in criminal activity and undermining the rule of law.



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