Police arrest scammers who promised education but sent recruits to drug gang training camps

May 19, 2022 | 3 comments

Eight people have been arrested on charges that they were involved in forcibly recruiting Ecuadorians for armed groups, the country’s prosecutor’s office said on Thursday.

Police believe the eight men arrested were sending recruits to drug gang training camps.

The prosecution said on its Twitter account the eight were arrested during simultaneous raids in Imbabura, Pichincha and El Oro Provinces. It accused them of “human trafficking and recruitment for guerrilla groups outside the law.”

They said the groups approached communities in the Andean provinces of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo and in Ecuador’s Amazon region to recruit members under false pretenses.

“According to the charge sheets, Ecuadorians were recruited with the offer of going to enroll in [study] courses in Argentina and Mexico,” said the prosecution. “They ended up in the armed camps.”

The objective was “to train them on the Colombian-Venezuelan borders,” authorities added, without giving further details.

Crime rates have soared in Ecuador’s Pacific coast provinces, as well as in the country’s, prisons, which President Guillermo Lasso has attributed to his outspoken fight against drug gangs who use Ecuador as a transit point for drugs bound for the United States and Europe.

In April, Lasso declared a state of emergency in three of the country’s 24 provinces, and mobilized 9,000 members of the armed forces to patrol streets in areas with the highest homicide rates. Since then, more than a thousand arrests have been made of suspected gang members, many of them murders.

Credit: Reuters


Byron Quito – DentastiQ


Blue Box

Google ad

Richard Lavery

Google ad

Gypsy Tv

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of December 03 

A Simple Box of Food.

Read more

Daniel Noboa and the newly appointed Military Chief discuss a campaign against organized crime.

Read more

Historic legal victory returns ancestral land to Ecuador’s Siekopai indigenous people.

Read more

Fund Grace


Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!