Security & Strategic Review - June 2022

ECUADOR: When states of exception are no longer exceptional

For the third time in his year-long presidency, Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso declared a 60-day state of exception on 29 April in response to a seemingly irrepressible crime wave. The emergency measure authorises the militarisation of public security in the coastal provinces of Guayas, Manabí, and Esmeraldas. Few doubt that Ecuador is now in the grip of an escalating security crisis, but critics of Lasso’s strategy argue that his increasing use of emergency decrees is based primarily on political calculations, rather than a genuine expectation that they will cause violent crime to decrease.

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