A prosecutor investigating femicides in Ecuador has been murdered

Prosecutor Escobar’s killing has shaken a country still reeling from the disappearance of lawyer Maria Belen Bernal a week ago at police headquarters in Quito.

Investigating Prosecutor Femicide in Ecuador He was killed on Monday by Gunslingers Opposite the office of the prosecutor in the port of GuayaquilReported to judicial authority.

Edgar Escobarwho was part of the unit in charge of hate crimes and gender-based women,He was “shot this morning” outside the building where he worked.In said the prosecutor’s office Twitter.

According to the agency, two of the alleged attackers have already been detained on a populated hill in Guayaquil, which has been hit by a wave of gang-related crimes. Drug Traffic which also hit the port jails with hundreds of deaths Prison massacre between rival gangs.

“In police action, a motorcycle and the weapon with which they may have shot the victim have been seized,” the prosecutor’s office added.

Prosecutor Escobar’s murder still shakes the country in shock Lawyer Maria Belen Bernal disappeared a week ago In the police station Quito.

The woman entered the Superior School of Police (ESP) to meet her husband, Lt German CaceresAnd since then there is no trace of his whereabouts.

Suspecting that it may be a femicide, the lieutenant gives a judicial statement, after which he is on the run. The government fired Cáceres and removed the head of the officer training school from his post.

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Ecuador records high rates of gender violence. According to the prosecutor’s office, At least 573 women have been murdered since 2014 In cases classified as femicides.

There have been 206 murders of women so far in 2022 alone, according to Geraldine Guerra of Fundación Aldea, which maps femicide in the country.

Two prosecutors and a judge killed

Amid alarm over attacks on women in Ecuador, Escobar’s killing also highlights violence against the judiciary.

Since last May, three officials have been killed: in addition to Escobar, a judge in the city of Amazon sour lake (northeast Ecuador, near the border with Colombia) and the transit prosecutor in the fishing port of Manta (southwest). All three were shot dead.

Along with drug trafficking, crime has increased in the country of 18 million inhabitants and between Colombia Y PeruLargest producers of cocaine in the world.

In 2021, a rate 14 murders per 100,000 peopleAlmost twice as much as in 2020.

Bloody clashes between inmates linked to drug traffickers have killed nearly 400 people since February 2021, with seven massacres since then, some of which have become the worst in Latin America.

Ecuadorian authorities have seized an annual record of 210 tons of drugs in 2021, and nearly 150 tons have been seized so far this year.

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