Ecuador president declares emergency over drug violence

Ecuador president declares state of emergency over drug violence

Earlier Monday, Lasso named a new defense minister as the country reels from a massive prisons crisis

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso. Credit: AFP File Photo

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso on Monday declared a state of emergency in the country grappling with a surge in drug-related violence, and ordered the mobilisation of police and military in the streets.

"Starting immediately, our Armed Forces and police will be felt with force in the streets because we are decreeing a state of emergency throughout the national territory," said the president in a speech broadcast by the state channel EcuadorTV.

"In the streets of Ecuador there is only one enemy: drug trafficking," declared the right-wing leader, adding that "in recent years Ecuador has gone from being a drug trafficking country to one that also consumes drugs."

Earlier Monday, Lasso named a new defense minister as the country reels from a massive prisons crisis.

The latest massacre inside a prison in Ecuador left a staggering 119 inmates dead.

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