Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso imposed a 60-day state of emergency in three of the country’s 24 provinces on Friday, claiming an increase in crime and ordering curfews in some regions and the deployment of hundreds of security officers.
It is the second time Lasso has utilized emergency powers to combat the violence that has erupted in the Andean country since late last year. His administration accuses drug trafficking gangs of using the nation as a transit place for narcotics destined for the United States and Europe.
In the provinces of Guayas, Manabi, and Esmeraldas, where police operations have netted accused gang members, violent fatalities and crimes reportedly related to drug trafficking have increased this year.
During the 60-day period, 9,000 police and military personnel will patrol provincial streets, and specific neighborhoods will be subject to curfews from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.