The Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, on Wednesday related the killings in several prisons in his country to transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, in his first demonstration on the events that on Tuesday left 79 dead and about twenty injured.
“Dark forces threaten our coexistence”He said in a video statement released by the Presidency in which he assured that there are no “coincidences” and that yesterday’s events are “the consequence” of an increase in drug trafficking.
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“It is no coincidence that it was organized from outside the prisons and internally orchestrated by those who dispute the leadership and drug trafficking in the national territory”, he specified when arguing the situation of what happened.
Neither is it, he added, that “the Manta base was dismantled in 2008”, which was under US operation, because “the growth of drug trafficking is not accidental in this way, not even after the dismantling of drug laboratories. drugs in (the province of) Manabí ”.
Nor “is the coincidence with the recent complaint by the Colombian press about the alleged financing of the ELN to political campaigns in Ecuador causal,” he said about recent information that has been categorically discarded by that Colombian guerrilla and the candidate in question.
At least 79 inmates died Tuesday in a wave of clashes in three prisons in Ecuador, in the worst massacre of its kind the country has ever seen.
State agencies are investigating the events in a context of rivalry between criminal gangs that dispute the criminal map in the country, and that could also be involved in drug trafficking.
“Where does so much violence come from?” the president wondered in the video as he explained the situation in the country’s prisons, where the inmate population has jumped from “9,000 in 2007 to almost 40,000” now.
An overcrowding that he attributed to a greater fight of his Government against crime.
But he blamed the governments that preceded him for the construction of large prisons with more than 15,000 inmates, against “international logic” that “leads to the construction of small centers for greater control.”
“The model and regulations are deficient”, stated Moreno, who acknowledged that “there is a lack of financial and personal resources,” so he has asked the Ministry of Finance to find funds to resolve the situation, despite the fact that the Executive ends its term in just three months.
To contain the situation, he assured that “the Armed Forces will support with control of weapons and explosives in the external perimeter (of the prisons) for as long as necessary”, and that tomorrow, in a meeting of Prosur in which they were going to speaking of health, he will ask for “international support to combat organized crime that has a regional presence.”
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