In recent months, Ecuador has seen a rise in violence, prompting President Daniel Noboa to declare an internal armed conflict on January 9. This declaration came after three massacres were carried out by killers, resulting in the death of 17 people and injuring dozens of others. The attorney general’s office issued a statement warning of attempts by criminal organizations to destabilize the country and hinder ongoing investigations.

The state of emergency, originally imposed for 60 days in January, was extended for an additional 30 days on March 8. It remains unclear whether it will be extended again on April 8. Emergency measures have militarized the streets of violent cities in Ecuador to fight gangs, which have been designated as terrorists. Despite these efforts, criminal activity continues to persist, leading to a new wave of violence over the weekend.

Between January and March 2024, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police reported an increase in extortion and kidnappings, especially in Guayaquil where cases increased fivefold. The escalation of violence culminated in three massacres over the weekend: an attack on Ecuadorian tourists in Manabí province and two separate incidents in Guayaquil.

In one incident, six adults and five children were kidnapped and murdered by attackers who targeted members of a rival gang but mistakenly targeted tourists. Another attack resulted in nine deaths while a third incident left at least three people dead and three injured. Authorities have made arrests related to these crimes and seized weapons from suspects linked to criminal organizations. The State Prosecutor’s Office is actively investigating these incidents while warning citizens about attempts by criminal groups to undermine stability in the country.

Despite government efforts to combat crime, challenges remain when addressing structural issues such as corruption that contribute to security instability in Ecuador.

By Samantha Johnson

As a dedicated content writer at newspuk.com, I immerse myself in the art of storytelling through words. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for crafting engaging narratives, I strive to captivate our audience with each piece I create. Whether I'm covering breaking news, delving into feature articles, or exploring thought-provoking editorials, my goal remains constant: to inform, entertain, and inspire through the power of writing. Join me on this journalistic journey as we navigate through the ever-evolving media landscape together.

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