The United States, Peru, and Bolivia sent messages of concern and support to Ecuador, mired in violence and insecurity, which were reflected on January 9 in the assault on a television channel by a group of hooded men while it was broadcasting live.
Peru announced that same day that it would declare a state of emergency on the common border with Ecuador so that the military could help the police, following a series of violent acts in the neighboring country, such as the assault by a group of armed hooded men on a television channel and the alleged escape of two criminal leaders linked to drug trafficking.
Messages of concern and support also came from the United States and Bolivia for the South American country, which has been plunged into violence and insecurity for at least three years and closed 2023 with a record 7,600 homicides.
Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otarola told reporters that President Dina Boluarte had ordered the Defense and Interior ministers to travel to the border with Ecuador, as well as the dispatch of police to help improve control at border crossing points.
Both countries have a total common border of 1,529 kilometers, most of them in inaccessible areas of the Amazon.
Otárola recalled that since September there has been a state of emergency to combat crime in areas of the regions of Tumbes and Piura, both bordering Ecuador. But, he added that it will also be declared in areas of the regions of Cajamarca, Amazonas, and Loreto, which also border the neighboring country.
“When a state of emergency is declared, the armed forces will come to support the national police and yes, there will be army troops,” said Otárola.
In the areas where anti-crime measures were previously implemented, social events were prohibited from midnight to 4 a.m. Free transit, freedom of assembly, and the inviolability of the home were also suspended.
The border between Peru and Ecuador has been a frequent area for migrant trafficking, as well as for the smuggling of fuel, basic necessities, clothing, and other products that has been taking place for decades between the two countries.
For his part, Ambassador Brian Nichols, undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, commented on the events in Ecuador through the social network X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Extremely concerned about the violence and kidnappings today [January 9] in Ecuador,” he wrote in a message in which he affirmed that the United States, in support of the Ecuadorian people, “we stand ready to provide assistance to the Ecuadorian government.”
The senior U.S. government official also confirmed that they remain “in close contact” with President Noboa’s team.
And from Bolivia, President Luis Arce published a message in X where he repudiated “the acts of violence that took place in the last hours in the sister Republic of Ecuador”, offered support for the return of tranquility to the country, and expressed “full solidarity to the Ecuadorian people and government that is going through a critical situation of security and fight against delinquency”.
He also insisted that “it is urgent to work on the regionalization of the fight against drug trafficking and other illicit activities, as well as the creation of supranational organizations such as the Latin American Anti-Narcotics Alliance”, a proposal which, he said, Bolivia has already put forward in various international meetings.
For its part, the Spanish Embassy in the country condemned the violence and showed its solidarity with the victims.
“We support the democratic institutions of Ecuador to restore normality in the life of the Ecuadorian brother people,” said the diplomatic legation in a message on its X account.