Ecuador Lasso adapts Bukele's recipes to combat the wave of insecurity

"Dear @Blankimonki, my solidarity and support

Ecuador Lasso adapts Bukele's recipes to combat the wave of insecurity

"Dear @Blankimonki, my solidarity and support. I have arranged for the Ministry of the Interior to contact you to clarify this fact. At this time, the Ecuadorian Police is carrying out the corresponding investigations." As if it were the controversial millennial president Nayib Bukele, the president Guillermo Lasso grabbed the bull by the digital horns and faced in person the express kidnapping suffered in Guayaquil, aboard a taxi, by the journalist Blanca Moncada.

The presidential interest changed the circumstances of one more of the crimes that plague the streets of Ecuador, especially in the coastal areas of Guayas and Esmeralda, where drug trafficking has become strong. Lasso's initiative comes just days after the government made public images of prisoners in the La Roca prison in the midst of the so-called "crusade for security" in the style of El Salvador, but without its forcefulness. The confrontation with some judges, whom he accuses of being "little committed" to security, is also public.

"Allow me to tell you what is happening in Guayaquil," Moncada began his story, which shook a society that is experiencing the escalation of violence in panic. "They put masks over our eyes and told us that they would kill us. That they worked for the Tiguerones (a dangerous gang linked to drug trafficking), which was a job sent. They touched me, Mr. President, they kneaded my ass with their disgusting hands while they beat my friend. They took our things, the things that one buys with effort, the money that one saves with effort," said the journalist, who is part of a new digital project called La Defensa.

The two criminals who had entered the taxi and the driver, his accomplice, moved the couple to various ATMs until they emptied their accounts. Transfers were also made from the mobile phones of the reporter and her friend.

"They told me that they had decided not to kill me, that they were in a stolen car, that they had the driver locked in the trunk (trunk) and that if I did something I was going to end up like him. They left us stranded on a dark downtown street, sir president. And you have just read the least terrifying thing," warned Moncada.

Then the queues of citizens arrived to denounce similar events, "more than 15 pages" filled out by a prosecutor. A part only because the criminals threaten people, like Moncada herself, so they don't report it.

The president's intervention forced a police meeting with the two kidnapped and Lasso's announcement, through his networks, that "the information provided will be processed and analyzed to find the identities, as well as the location, of the suspects." .

"Insecurity is a very important issue in Ecuador right now. At the same time, Lasso is very weakened and lacks political capital. Consequently, he has resorted to the issue of security and the rhetoric of a heavy hand, as is as several other presidents in the region have done, such as Nayib Bukele or at the time Álvaro Uribe, Alberto Fujimori and many others," political scientist John Polga-Hecimovich told EL MUNDO.

"I think this rhetoric is the only strategy left for him to generate support in the current context. He has no other way to generate political capital in a situation where he is at risk of imminent impeachment," adds the analyst.

Lasso suffered a resounding electoral defeat in February, not only in the regional elections. The referendum that he himself called was defeated at the polls, including the question that would allow those accused of drug trafficking to be extradited. In parallel, the National Assembly, with an opposition majority, has raised a political trial for corruption against the president, led by the correista leaders with the aim of removing him from power.

Despite the uphill climb that the president is facing, Michel Levi, coordinator of the Andean Center for International Studies, envisions some presidential relief thanks to the incorporation of a new government minister, Henry Cucalón. "Lasso has to play his cards well and create an alliance with the members of his own trend that are more populist. The country is not bad in economic terms, it has an acceptable growth rate. The point is drug trafficking and insecurity," reveals Levi for this newspaper.

The fragility of the conservative leader also occurs in the midst of a pro-Bukele fever on the continent, where his extreme heavy hand has thousands of followers fed up with violence. Despite having only 8% of the world's population, Latin America and the Caribbean account for 50% of the homicides on the entire planet.

"I don't think Lasso is copying Bukele, but rather following a long tradition in Latin America of mano dura, or the appearance of a mano dura, in the context of citizen insecurity," says Polga-Hecimovich.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project