Ecuador’s War on Drug Gangs: A Mixed Picture So Far

By Jorge R. Imbaquingo

President Noboa has deployed more than 30,000 soldiers and policemen to contain the chaos. While homicides have fallen, kidnappings and extortion remain high.

QUITO — Two months have passed since Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa declared a “state of internal conflict” and deployed more than 30,000 security forces to deal with scenes of drug-related violence that shocked the country and, indeed, the world. The emerging picture is of a very popular president, boasting an 80% approval rating as Ecuadorians rally behind his crackdown; an apparent decline in homicides, but persistent levels of other criminality, including kidnappings and extortion; and a great deal of information we simply don’t know, as the government seeks to control the...

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