President Guillermo Lasso decreed a state of emergency and curfew on Monday in two Ecuadorian provinces one day after the murder of the mayor of the city of Manta, Agustín Intriago, in a new act of violence that shocked the Andean country.
The emergency measure limits some civil liberties such as the right to assembly, transit and information and grants the security forces greater freedom of action. He will govern Manta, the largest city in the coastal province of Manabí where the Intriago crime was recorded on Sunday, and neighboring Los Ríos. While the curfew will apply between 10 at night and 5 in the morning.
Lasso also said in a press conference that the police captured a foreigner, whose nationality he did not reveal, who would be involved in the mayor's crime, who was fired by supporters and relatives on Monday in Manta. The president expressed concern about the increasing level of violence in the country and asked justice so that the murder of the mayor does not go unpunished.
The United States embassy on its Twitter account called for the case to be investigated and those responsible punished with "exemplary sentences." He added that "we reject political violence."
The same request was made by the United Nations office in Ecuador, which indicated that it "joins the condemnation of the murder" and called on the government to redouble its efforts to combat the growing wave of violence.
Intriago was the victim of shots with high caliber weapons when he was visiting municipal works in a populous neighborhood of Manta. Along with the mayor, a 28-year-old athlete died, identified as Ariana Chancay, who was close to the official and was hit by one of the bullets.
Intriago, a 38-year-old lawyer and politician, belonged to the local movement called Better City. He was recently reappointed to his post, which he took over in mid-May. He was married and had two children.
The reasons for the attack, nor the alleged perpetrators, have not been reported, although Intriago was one of the eight mayors who already had police security after an analysis of the risk profiles. There are another 17 security requests in progress, Ecuador's Association of Municipalities reported this month.
The city of Manta is located 260 kilometers southwest of the capital, in the province of Manabí, whose coasts are indicated by the authorities as coveted routes for drug traffickers to carry large shipments of drugs to destinations in America and Europe, mainly.
Ecuador is facing the most serious crisis of insecurity and violence in its history, which broke out in 2021 in the country's main prisons and which authorities have attributed to the dispute between organized crime groups that operate inside and outside prisons.