A bombing in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil has left at least five people dead and some 20 others injured, in what the government believes to be the doings of organized crime groups.
Guayaquil City Council's reported that 10 of the injured were in critical condition with mutilations in different parts of their bodies.
The explosive device went off in the early hours of Sunday when some individuals who were riding a motorcycle first fired into the air and then threw a package containing explosives in front of a place where people were eating.
President Guillermo Lasso labeled the incident as a terrorist act and issued Decree 527 ordering a new state of emergency in Guayaquil.
Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said it was a declaration of war from organized crime and announced a reward of up to US$ 10,000 to anyone who provides useful information to track down the person responsible for the attack. So far this year, the Interior Ministry has reported 58 minor terrorist acts.
Ecuador is going through a crime wave linked to drug trafficking, with decapitated bodies hanging from bridges in the style of Mexican drug cartels. Clashes also reach prisons, where since February 2021 there have been seven massacres with nearly 400 inmates killed.
In this scenario of twice as many murders as in 2020, Lasso is to leave the country from August 16 to 21 to get medical treatment in Houston, Texas, for a skin condition known as melanoma, it was also announced Sunday.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Lasso underwent surgery on July 29 in Ecuador for a lesion on his right eyelid that was thought to be a basal cell carcinoma, another type of skin cancer. However, the results of the studies indicate that it is melanoma.
The head of state said this malady requires interdisciplinary management, exploration and treatment strategies that are very well organized in other international reference hospitals, for which he would make a personal trip to the United States.
Since it is about personal matters, I will travel with my own means, he indicated in that document and reiterated in his report to the Ecuadorian media. In June 2021, one month after his inauguration, Lasso underwent surgery in the United States to remove a cyst in the lumbar area.
During Lasso's absence, Vice President Alfredo Borrero will be at the helm of the country.