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The crisis in Ecuador

and its impact on Brazil


         Instability in the lives of Ecuadorians began in 2023 with the resignation of President Guillermo Lasso and the dissolution of Parliament, which led to the need for elections for both the legislature and the judiciary in the country. Lasso's withdrawal was the result of several allegations of corruption directed at him, in addition to the pressure caused by severe public security problems in Ecuador.

            From this, Daniel Noboa was elected president, whose main cause is the fight against organized crime, the main threat to public security in the country. This is because Ecuador is a strategic country for the flow of drugs, with its opening to the Pacific being the main exit point for cocaine. Furthermore, local factions ally with Mexican cartels and Eastern European mafias and expand their market.


The crisis

           The trigger for the Ecuadorian public security crisis was the escape of the country's biggest drug trafficker, José Adolfo Macías Salazar, known as Fito, from the prison where he should have been serving his sentence. In view of this, Daniel Noboa's government declares a State of Exception, which allows the armed forces to join the police on the streets across the country. This mechanism lasts for 60 days, during which the rights of movement (from the curfew between 11pm and 5am), meeting and home privacy are restricted (no court order is required for authorities to enter people’s homes).

          As a result, organized crime participants also reacted: universities were attacked, police officers were executed, students were kidnapped and the television station TC Televisión was invaded by heavily armed criminals during a live broadcast. Thus, the government declared internal armed conflict and took measures such as suspending school activities, closing public bodies and beginning the extradition process of foreign prisoners.

How does this affect Brazil?

         Brazil has already acted in the face of the conflict. Initially, an internal meeting was organized with the aim of discussing possible actions by the Brazilian government in the face of the Ecuadorian crisis. Later, Brazil participated in a meeting with representatives of the police from Latin America, the meeting focused on finding ways of cooperating with the government of Ecuador. Additionally, the federal police provided training to the Ecuadorian national police to track organized crime assets.

           According to Daniel Sousa, economics professor at the international politics and economics podcast Petit Journal, drug trafficking is not a local problem, but one across South America. This is, in fact, an issue that affects everyone, including Brazil, which ends up being part of the cocaine route, mainly in the Brazilian Amazon region. Therefore, the problem cannot be faced individually, it is necessary to resolve the issue of drug trafficking collectively. According to him, Brazil is an unavoidable leader in South America, therefore, its participation in resolving the conflict is essential.

By Maria Eduarda Galli Branco in 21/01/2024


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