Ecuador: Emergency declared over crime wave

The South American Country, Ecuador, has declared a state of emergency because of crime wave.

Key Points

  • President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, announced a 60-day state of emergency on October 19, 2021 because of rise in violent drug crimes.
  • The announcement was made on the eve of a visit by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
  • Both the leaders are set to discuss questions of defence, security, and trade.
  • With the announcement of state of emergency, soldiers in riot gear reached to reinforce authorities following the protest by street merchants.

What is the issue?

  • Ecuador is currently grappling with a surge in violent crime and deadly prison riots.
  • Government of Ecuador has pointed to drug trafficking and its consumption as the underlying cause and problem.

About Ecuador

Ecuador is a country, located in north-western South America. It is bordered by Colombia, Peru and Pacific Ocean. The country also includes the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific. This island is located at about 1,000 kilometres west of the mainland. Quito city is the capital of Ecuador.

Background

The territories of present-day Ecuador were once home to several Amerindian groups. They were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during 15th century. During the 16th century, the territory was colonized by Spain. It achieved independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia. Ecuador emerged as its own sovereign state in the year 1830.

Official language

Spanish is the official language of Ecuador. It is spoken by majority of the population. However, country has recognised 13 Native languages including Shuar and Quechua.

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