The National Police of Ecuador replenished ammunition yesterday Thursday with a batch of 14 million bullets in the midst of the security crisis that the country is going through, after the recent murder of a popular mayor and a new prison massacre resulting from a confrontation between gangs rivals.
During the delivery of the ammunition, the Minister of the Interior, Juan Zapata, explained that the 14 million bullets are part of the 24 million projectiles with which the current Government is going to supply the Police, of which they have already been delivered. a total of 18 million.
The bullets delivered are of the 9 mm and 5.56 calibers for short and long arms, respectively, which will serve for the retraining of the agents and for the replacement of the bullets that are used by each agent in the line of duty.
200 cartridges per agent
Each agent will be provided with 200 cartridges for training and 100 cartridges as personal supplies and as replacements.
“We have the support not only of the Government, but of the norm. We have a regulation of the legitimate use of force that removed and clarified many issues that were complex, such as the materialization of the threat,” Zapata said about the legal instrument that now facilitates Ecuadorian agents using their firearm.
“The regulation determines that, in the face of the threat of the police server, the member of the Armed Forces or a third party, we can make use of the lethal weapon. (…) Before we did not have the guarantees to do so, because we had police officers prosecuted when we used legitimate of the weapon,” he added.
48 criminals killed
As a result, the Ecuadorian Police has killed 48 suspected criminals since the beginning of 2023, when last year there were only 6.
The Minister of the Interior stressed that in these episodes no police officer has been injured.
For his part, the General Commander of the Police, Fausto Salinas, warned that since the beginning of the year 24 policemen have been assassinated in attacks attributed to organized crime.
He also reported that so far there have been 43,000 apprehended and the seizure of 6,000 seized weapons, 153,000 bullets and 60,500 explosives, as well as about 117 tons of drugs seized and 66 people released from kidnappings.
The ammunition was delivered by the president of Ecuador, the conservative Guillermo Lasso, who affirmed that the rule of law is under attack by organized crime in Ecuador and emphasized that he will not agree with the leaders of these gangs.
lasso points to judges
Given this, Lasso recalled that his administration has taken several measures to confront the rise in violence and organized crime, such as declaring their actions as terrorists, issuing regulations for the legitimate use of force and allowing the Police and Forces to Armed use seized weapons.
In this sense, the president once again pointed out to the judicial system, because “if the murder cases are not resolved and the murderers are released a few hours after being arrested, all the efforts made by the police and military will be in vain.”
“Impunity is a perverse message for society,” added Lasso, who also pointed out that the murder this week of the mayor of Manta, Agustín Intriago, has meant a before and after for the country.
On Monday, the Government also decreed a state of emergency in the provinces of Manabí and Los Ríos, as well as in the municipality of Durán, belonging to the Guayaquil metropolitan area, to stop the spike in crime and violence in those areas.
Ecuador closed 2022 with the highest rate of violent deaths in its history, registering 25.32 per 100,000 inhabitants, catapulted by street crime and organized crime, largely linked to drug trafficking, which has turned Ecuadorian ports into large springboards for shipping cocaine to Europe and North America.