The U.S. has signed an agreement to support Ecuador in its campaign to keep drug traffickers out of the country. The agreement, which invites the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide on-the-ground assistance, was signed Wednesday in Quito.
“We need the expertise of the United States, as well as that of all countries willing to help to keep the cartels out of Ecuador,” Interior Minister César Navas said following the signing ceremony with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman. “The fight against international crime, whether it involves drugs, illegal arms, money laundering or human trafficking, cannot be waged by one country. It requires a multilateral strategy.”
Chapman agreed. “The situation on the border is a transnational threat that requires a coordinated response,” he said, adding that Wednesday’s agreement does not require the U.S. government to establish permanent offices in Ecuador.
Under the agreement, the DEA will provide specialized training to Ecuador law enforcement personnel in intelligence gathering, investigation techniques and ground operations.