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Montevideo, June 24th 2024 - 19:36 UTC



Ecuadorian President okays right to bear arms and pepper spray

Monday, April 3rd 2023 - 09:19 UTC
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Lasso spoke of a “crusade for security” Lasso spoke of a “crusade for security”

The Ecuadorian government of President Guillermo Lasso announced during the weekend that the possession and carrying of handguns by civilians had been authorized in another move to curb violent crime nationwide. “We have a common enemy: delinquency, drug trafficking, and organized crime; we are going to fight them with three new urgent measures,”

The president explained that a decree had been modified to authorize the possession and carrying of civilian weapons for personal defense in accordance with the requirements of the law and regulations. In addition, the use of pepper spray for personal defense is authorized and the production, registration, and possession of handmade weapons were banned.

Lasso also decreed a state of emergency in the provinces of Santa Elena (west), Los Ríos (center), and in Zone 8, which includes the cities of Guayaquil, Durán, and Samborondón in the coastal province of Guayas (southwest).

“We declare a state of exception with a curfew from 1 am to 5 am that seeks to solve the root problems” starting Sunday, Lasso also announced. Private security guards will also be summoned to support the National Police in surveillance and security tasks, the President explained.

Lasso also highlighted the creation of a unified command post (PMU) to face the security crisis. The PMU, under the leadership of the president, had its first working meeting this Saturday. “I will be clear and forceful: we will fight criminals with the full force of the law because our priority is your peace of mind,” said Lasso.

The president stressed that his government was carrying out a “crusade for security” involving the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Intelligence services.

“We have identified 15 high-value targets, we are following them, and we are going to capture them. We have already arrested six high-value targets,” Lasso also said in reference to leaders of criminal gangs considered dangerous.

During the weekend, Gustavo Manrique was sworn in as the new Foreign Minister, while José Dávalos replaced him as Minister of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition.

“Dear new ministers, you more than anyone understand the power of change in the natural order. I invite you to continue positively transforming Ecuador for the benefit of each and every Ecuadorian,” Lasso said during the ceremony.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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