President Lenin Moreno announced Thursday new funding and new strategies to fight crime. “There will be a reinforced security operation nationwide aimed at reducing crime in Ecuador,” the president said at a rally of National Police and armed forces in Guayaquil. “The government will be implacable in its effort to guarantee security of all of our citizens.”
The announcement followed recent statistics showing an increase of crime in the country following more than a decade of decline. Some cities showed a sharp increase in murders, violent assault and armed robberies, with Guayaquil leading the way with a 30 percent increase in murders and assaults.
A number of cities, including Cuenca and Loja, bucked the trend showing no increase in crime rates.
In his announcement, Moreno said that military troops will provide roadside assistance to police in searchers for firearms. “We have had an increase in crimes involving guns and we will emphasize getting unlicensed weapons off the streets,” he said.
Moreno also said that additional police will be added to patrol high crime areas.