Police break up 583 parties, make 516 arrests, shut down nine brothels during weekend lockdown

May 3, 2021

National and municipal police were busy over the second weekend of the 28-day health emergency, interrupting illegal parties and arresting curfew violators. The National Police report breaking up 583 parties and mass gatherings, making 516 arrests for curfew violations and issuing more than a thousand fines to drivers on the streets without legitimate reasons.

Those caught partying Friday night in Machala were assigned street-cleaning duties.

The most arrests and fines were recorded in Guayas Province, which also had the largest number of gatherings, 186, in the 16 provinces affected by the state of emergency restrictions.

Nine brothels, operating in violation of restrictions, were also closed down in Playas, Durán and Guayaquil, according Juan Zapata, president of the National Emergency Operations Committee. “Fornication or other sexual acts among strangers are not allowed during the emergency,” he said.

Although the Cuenca National Police command did not report exact numbers, it said that it broke more than 50 parties and made “about 100” arrests in Azuay Province. Transit police imposed 130 fines on drivers, including 13 who were caught speeding, six of which tested above the legal alcohol limit and were sentenced to at least three days in jail.

In Gualaceo, in Azuay Province, a hearing was held Monday afternoon for 14 men arrested Saturday night at a clandestine casino. The group faces one to three years in prison.

Judges in several provinces sentenced young partiers to perform public service, including cleaning streets and removing graffiti from public buildings.

In general, Zapata said his office was pleased with compliance to curfews and the weekend lockdown. “We understand there will be violations within a population of 13 million in the 16 provinces and expect that young people will be more likely to be part of illegal gatherings. We believe, however, that the message of our seriousness in enforcing pandemic restrictions is getting through since numbers are down from last weekend.”