The murder rate in Ecuador has more than doubled in just a few years. Drug gangs are fighting for dominance in the country. After an explosion that killed several people, the government blamed the "mercenaries of organized crime".
Five people were killed and 20 others injured in a bomb attack in Ecuador. The government blamed organized crime for the crime in the western city of Guayaquil. "Mercenaries from organized crime" carried out the attack with explosives, Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo said on Twitter. "This is a declaration of war against the state."
Ecuador borders Colombia and Peru, the two largest cocaine producers in the world. In the meantime, Ecuador has developed into a central hub for drug deliveries to Europe and the USA. Different gangs fight for supremacy. Also, Mexican drug gangs use Ecuador to launder the profits from their illegal businesses.
With the activities of drug gangs, violence has also increased in Ecuador. The murder rate in the South American country has risen from six to 14 murders per 100,000 inhabitants since 2018. The violence often spreads to Ecuador's prisons. More than 350 inmates in Ecuadorian prisons have been killed since February 2021.