A prosecutor dedicated to investigating femicides in Ecuador was shot dead this Monday outside the headquarters of the prosecutor’s office in the port of Guayaquil.
Ecuador’s judiciary announced the death of a prosecutor specializing in femicides this Monday. At the same time, they demanded more protection from the police in their country for their officers.
Edgar Escobar, who was part of a unit in charge of gender-based hate crimes and women, was shot “this morning” outside the building where he worked, the prosecutor’s office said on Twitter.
According to the agency, Two alleged invaders have already been arrested on the populated hilltop of GuaquilA wave of crimes linked to drug trafficking has also hit the port’s jails, with hundreds of deaths in prison massacres 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.
The killing of Escobar, the second prosecutor shot in four months, shook a country still reeling from the disappearance a week ago of lawyer Maria Belen Bernal at police headquarters in Quito.
The woman entered Police High School (ESP) to visit her husband, Lt. German Caceres, and has had no trace of her whereabouts since.
Two prosecutors and a judge killed
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.
Ecuador Registers high rates of gender violence. According to the prosecutor’s office, at least 573 murders of women have been classified as femicide since 2014.
There have been 206 murders of women so far in 2022 alone, according to Geraldine Guerra of the Fundación Aldea, which maps femicide in the country.
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 Amazon town of Lago Agrio (northeast Ecuador, near the border with Colombia) and a transit prosecutor in the fishing port of Manta (southwest). All three were shot dead.
After Escobar’s murder, Yanina Villagomez, the prosecutor of Guayas (the capital city of Guayaquil) province, asked the police on behalf of the entire prosecution body, Double security systemsGreater security for the patrol and its officers.
Drug trafficking and murder
In a meeting with Guas authorities “Find Security Solutions”Villagómez also proposed that the reception of inmates’ statements “should be telematic to protect the judicial server,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
Along with drug trafficking, crime has soared in the country, with 18 million inhabitants and the world’s largest producer of cocaine, located between Colombia and Peru.
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.