Ecuadorian mayors are requesting police protection in response to escalating violence.


Forty-five mayors in Ecuador have sought police protection within the past year as violence continues to plague the nation. Since 2023, 22 local officials have lost their lives in violent incidents, reflecting a concerning trend highlighted by the executive director of the Association of Ecuadorean Municipalities (AME).

The surge in violence comes amid a nationwide crackdown on criminal organizations. President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency in January, designating 22 gangs as terrorist groups following a series of alarming events, including an armed attack on a television channel in Guayaquil and the hostage-taking of over a hundred prison guards.

The situation reached a grim milestone last weekend with the tragic discovery of the bodies of Brigitte Garcia, the 27-year-old mayor of San Vicente, and her communications director, Jairo Loor, both victims of fatal gunshot wounds in the province of Manabi.

Garcia’s murder marks the second instance of a mayor being killed since 2023. In July of that year, Agustin Intriago, the mayor of Manta, was assassinated during a neighborhood tour in the coastal city, shortly before the killing of anti-corruption presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio in Quito.

In response to the escalating threats, seventeen mayors have been provided police security by the government, while others have resorted to hiring private security services, according to Homero Castanier, AME’s executive director.

Galo Meza, the mayor of Balzar in Guayas province, is among those who have requested police protection, revealing a harrowing incident where his residence came under gunfire.

Castanier emphasized the complex challenges faced by Ecuadorian mayors, who risk their lives daily, often operating in volatile environments and under constant threat from organized crime groups that have deeply entrenched themselves in society. Coastal municipalities, in particular, are identified as high-risk areas due to their vulnerability to attacks.

The proliferation of drug smuggling activities through Ecuador’s ports, notably in Guayaquil, further exacerbates the security concerns faced by local officials, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address the escalating violence and protect the lives of those serving their communities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)