According to new reports, Ecuador‘s President Guillermo Lasso has declared a state of emergency, introducing night curfews following a wave of violence in three coastal provinces: Manabi, Los Rios and the city of Duran, near Guayaquil.
As outlined by Reuters, Agustin Intriago, the mayor of coastal city Manta, was shot dead on 23 July.
Regional Police Commander Edwin Noguera revealed that a gunman opened fire on Intriago while he was inspecting public works, hitting him and another woman – both died of their injuries.
Additionally, reports of riots that took place in the Penitenciaria del Litoral prison in Guayaquil – which involved clashes between incarcerated gang members – contributed to the emergency announcement.
Inmates also took 96 guards as hostages in jails in Cotopaxi, Azuay, Cañar, El Oro and Napo, Reuters says.
“We cannot deny that organized crime has permeated the state, political organizations and society itself, it is a problem that has been brewing for more than a decade,” Lasso said after a security cabinet meeting.
The news outlet says that the state of emergency will last for 60 days in the provinces, while the curfew will vary during that period.