Ecuadorians react to referendum to approve toughening fight against gangs

(22 Apr 2024)

Quito – 22 April 2024
1. Various exteriors of the government palace
2. Various of police and military near the palace
3. Various of people walking
4. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Luis Escobar, Ecuadorian citizen:
"(It’s) Very good that all Ecuadorians thought that with the ‘Yes’ (in the Referendum), we, the country Ecuador, are going to get ahead."
5. MId of Luis Escobar with his wife
6. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Monica Flores, Ecuadorian citizen:
"Well, first of all, our country is in need of money and spending that money that could be for education and health (on a referendum vote). I see it quite unnecessary and really a consultation is an expense."
7. People walking in the plaza
8. Various of man reading newspaper
9. Various newspaper covers referring to the referendum
10. Various of people at news stand
Ecuadorians shared their reaction on Monday to the resounding victory of a referendum to crack down on criminal gangs behind a spiraling wave of violence.

An official quick count showed that Ecuadorians overwhelmingly voted “yes” to all nine questions focused on tightening security measures, rejecting only two more controversial economic proposals.

The quick count was announced by the head of the Electoral National Council, Diana Atamaint.

It confirmed a private exit poll released hours before that indicated a resounding victory and sign of support for President Daniel Noboa.

Among the measures approved are Noboa’s call to deploy the army in the fight against the gangs, to loosen obstacles for extraditing accused criminals and to lengthen prison sentences for convicted drug traffickers.

Ecuador was traditionally one of South America’s most peaceful countries but it has been rocked in recent years by a wave of violence, much of it spilling over from neighboring Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine.

Last year, the country’s homicide rate shot up to 40 deaths per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the region.

AP video shot by Cesar Olmos


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Author: admin