Senin 15 Jan 2024 20:15 WIB

Ministry of Foreign Ensures No Indonesian People Are Victims of Violence in Ecuador

Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa declares war on drug cartels

Soldiers stop and search for weapons on pedestrians as they patrol a residential area north of Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, (11/1/2024).
Foto: AP Photo/Ariel Ochoa
Soldiers stop and search for weapons on pedestrians as they patrol a residential area north of Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, (11/1/2024).

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia confirmed that no Indonesian nationals (WNI) were victims during the violence that took place in Ecuador. “Based on communication with the WNI community, until now no WNI has been victimized,” said the Director of Protection of WNI and BHI Kemlu, Judha Nugraha, via a short message on Friday (12/1/2024).

In the records of KBRI Quito, the total of WNI residing in Ecuador is currently 48 people. Some of them are WNI who profess as pastors or missionaries scattered in remote areas outside the Guayaquil region.

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Others are KBRI staff and families residing in the capital city of Quito. “In particular, the KBRI has also been monitoring the condition of WNI in Guayaquil. It was recorded that one female WNI settled in the region, but at the moment the person concerned is observed to be outside the territory of the Equador region,” Judha said.

He explained that KBRI continues to maintain communication with the WNIs and draw up contingency plans in anticipation in the event of a worsening escalation. The Ecuadorian government has decreed a state of emergency on January 8, 2024, which was triggered by riots in the Guayaquil region by armed gangs.

Ecuadorean President Daniel Noboa declared war on drug cartels after three days of waves of violence broke out, when the gangs clashed with the country's armed forces. Armed clashes have so far left 11 dead. Authorities also reported acts of violence such as vehicle burnings, blockades, and bombings in a number of provinces.

Meanwhile, the nation's penitentiary agency on Wednesday announced that inmates had taken 139 prison wardens hostage. The wave of violence in the country was triggered by the defection of Jose Adolfo Macias, alias “El Fito”, the leader of “Los Choneros”, a violent organization that controlled the narcotics trade in the country and was allegedly an offshoot of the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal syndicate of Mexican origin.

Last week, Macias escaped from his cell in Guayaquil's Litoral prison along with another convict kingpin. He is serving a 34-year prison sentence since 2011 after being found guilty of drug trafficking, murder, and organized crime.

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