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Headless bodies, deadly bombs: Ecuador’s gang violence escalates!

With nine vehicle bombs going off and five police officers being wounded this week, Ecuador has experienced an unparalleled level of violence. In the Andean nation, where gang violence has reached previously unheard-of proportions, such bloodletting has practically become commonplace. Prison guards were held captive by convicts, and two decapitated bodies hanging from a bridge were discovered.

In response to the Tuesday shooting deaths of two police officers, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has ordered a curfew. Another attack on a police station resulted in the injuries of two further officers. The two cops ‘lost their lives at the hands of organised crime,’┬áthe interior minister claimed. Analysts claim that criminal groups utilising terror methods are emboldened by lucrative connections to Mexican drug cartels.

Only a few months have passed since a horrific bombing in the city left 17 people injured and at least five dead. It is said to have happened in retaliation to the transfer of prisoners from Litoral prison, the site of the deadliest prison massacre last year. Since February 2021, more than 400 prisoners have died in jail, many of them were burnt alive or decapitated.

According to analysts, the local criminal gangs’ competition to collaborate with the competing Mexican Sinaloa and Jalisco drug cartels caused an increase in bloodshed. 2,785 people were violently killed in Ecuador in the first eight months of this year, which is a 10-year high. As of 2021, the rate was 14 per 100,000 people, almost doubling. Of those deaths, coastal areas accounted for almost two thirds. The 42-year-old Guayaquil hydraulic parts merchant Luis admitted he was scared to leave his house.

 

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