Security & Strategic Review - May 2023

ECUADOR: Lasso loosens gun laws in battle for political survival

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso has grown increasingly hardline on security issues as his government fails to get a grip on a drug war that is rapidly spiralling out of control. With the repeated imposition of states of exception having failed to bolster public security, on 1 April he went a step further, issuing a decree allowing citizens to carry and use firearms in self-defence. The move, which came at a moment of extreme peril for Lasso’s presidency, appeared to be based more on political calculations than on a real expectation that it would cause violence to fall.

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