Today 19 people were arrested in Ecuador accused of making large shipments of cocaine to Mexico. Drug trafficking in Ecuador has become one of the main problems facing the country today .
Listen to this article
Leer en español: Narcotráfico en Ecuador: Punto clave en el tráfico de cocaína hacia México y Estados Unidos
Nineteen people were arrested in Ecuador as part of an operation to dismantle an alleged organization dedicated to sending large quantities of cocaine to Mexico, as reported this Thursday by the Ecuadorian National Police through its official channels.
The arrests were made in a series of property raids carried out on Wednesday in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo, Montecristi and Bahía de Caráquez, all located in Manabí, a province on the central coast of Ecuador.
The operation was carried out in coordination with the United States Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the US Embassy in Quito, since the authorities suspect that the final destination of the trafficked drugs was that country.
The 19 detainees were placed under the orders of the authorities along with the seized evidence that will serve as support for the administration of justice, indicated the Ecuadorian Police.
Drug trafficking and violence in Ecuador
Last week, a vessel with 3.6 tons of cocaine was intercepted 70 nautical miles (129.64 kilometers) northwest of Manta, in a joint operation between Ecuador and the United States.
Last August, Ecuador and the United States signed a cooperation agreement to expand cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.
Surrounded by Colombia and Peru, the two main cocaine producers in the world, Ecuador has become a key point for the trafficking of this drug controlled by different criminal gangs, based especially on the country's continental coast.
From there they have turned the ports into great springboards for cocaine reaching Europe, while the authorities have also recently dismantled a mafia that received drugs from Colombia to take them in high-powered boats from the Ecuadorian coast to Mexico, where they were received by posters.
Since the beginning of the year, Ecuador has seized 160 tons of drugs, the vast majority of them cocaine, so for the third consecutive year it is on track to exceed 200 tons seized annually, making it the third country in the world with the most drug seizures, surpassed only for Colombia and the United States.