Mexican drug cartels and their operations in Ecuador

According to Ecuador's Minister of the Interior, criminal organizations are using Ecuador as a route to ship illegal drugs to North America
 Mexican drug cartels and their operations in Ecuador
Chief commander of the Ecuador national police showing seized cargo of cocaine - Photo: Patricio Realpe/AP Photo
28/02/2018
11:21
San José
José Meléndez
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Mexican drug cartels have tight bonds with Ecuadorian mobs to ship illegal drugs from South America to North America, according to the Minister of the Interior of Ecuador, César Navas.

During a phone interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Navas claimed there is indeed presence of Mexican drug cartels in his country.

“These are international organizations with operations in Ecuador; we don't have [coca leaf] crops but they want to use us as a route to ship illegal drugs from Ecuadorian shorelines to Central and North America.”

The Minister recounted that on February 17, 2018, local authorities seized almost 600 kilograms of cocaine in the western province of Manabí, arresting Mexican, Colombian, and Ecuadorian suspects as part of the operation.

“The policy of Ecuador is radical and resolute in the fight against these organizations. I met [yesterday] with the Ambassador of Mexico to Ecuador to strengthen the international cooperation in operations involving our police and armed forces, so we can have quicker information flows,” said Ecuador's Minister of the Interior, adding they have detected maritime routes are the most used by drug dealers.

According to Navas, Ecuador seized over 100 tonnes of illegal drugs on their territorial waters during 2017.

Drug trafficking doesn't respect borders or international political boundaries and is trying to consume us as a society,” said Navas, emphasizing Ecuador is neither a consumer nor a producing country but rather a link in the logistics chain of drug trafficking.

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