Government of Ecuador to ask Assembly to approve downing of unauthorized planes – .

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Government of Ecuador to ask Assembly to approve downing of unauthorized planes – .


By Alexandra Valence
QUITO (Reuters) – The Ecuadorian government will ask the legislature to approve a law that would allow the Andean country to shoot down irregular planes, President Guillermo Lasso said on Wednesday, as part of his administration’s crackdown on crime and drug traffic.

Earlier this month, Lasso declared a state of emergency https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/ecuadors-president-declares-60-day-state-emergency-over-rising-crime- 2021-10-19 which allows for increased police patrols, among others. He also wants to set up a new coastal radar system.

“Soon, we will present to the National Assembly a law authorizing the killing of irregular aircraft that do not follow the orders of the Ecuadorian Air Force,” Lasso said at a ceremony of the Ecuadorian Air Force. the air in Quito, without giving further details.

Quoting the military, he said part of the country’s territory had been taken by drug traffickers.

The government has said the 60-day state of emergency is a response to the rising number of nationwide homicides and other crimes related to drug seizures, which total 147 tons until present this year.

Violent deaths have also increased in prisons. Last month 119 people were killed in unrest at a Guayaquil prison, which the government blamed on fighting between drug gangs.

Ecuador will install a new radar system in the coming weeks in the province of Santa Elena, joining one that started operating in Manabi on Wednesday, Lasso said.

The systems will help identify planes that have entered the country’s airspace without authorization, he said, adding that planes arriving with weapons and money and departing with drugs have been detected on clandestine tracks in the two provinces.

“With this government, the story of giving drug traffickers Ecuadorian territory will end. They took advantage of the lack of radar, ”he said.

Lasso’s comments coincided with the attorney general’s announcement of the arrest of 12 people from three criminal groups operating along the Manabi and Guayas coasts.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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