Six Arrested After Car Bombing in Quito, Ecuador

Six Arrested After Car Bombing in Quito, Ecuador

Police in Ecuador have apprehended six suspects following a car bombing in the commercial area of Quito, the capital city. The explosion, which occurred late on Wednesday, did not result in any casualties, according to the police. Investigations revealed that the vehicle detonated due to the ignition of two gas cylinders, fuel, a slow fuse, and potentially dynamite sticks, as stated by police investigations director Pablo Ramirez.

The authorities arrested the six individuals, including a Colombian national, several kilometers from the explosion site a few hours after the incident. Ramirez noted that the suspects have a criminal history involving extortion, robbery, and murder.

In a separate incident on Thursday morning, a second vehicle containing two cylinders of petrol and a slow fuse exploded near an office of Ecuador’s prisons agency. The explosion caused damage to the vehicle and the exterior of the building, but no injuries were reported.

Ecuador has been grappling with a surge in violence, particularly within its prisons, where officials claim an escalating battle over lucrative drug trafficking routes is taking place. The country has also witnessed a rise in murders, kidnappings, and clashes between rival drug gangs. Since 2021, at least 430 people have been killed in Ecuadorian prisons due to these clashes.

The recent car bombings in Quito are uncommon occurrences. The incidents took place as authorities conducted operations in Cotopaxi prison on Wednesday. While transfers of gang leaders have previously led to riots in detention facilities, no confirmed transfers of high-level prisoners have been reported. Additionally, security incidents were reported at Turi prison in Cuenca on Wednesday, although the authorities have not provided details.

The rise in violence and the restoration of security are significant concerns for Ecuadorians as they prepare to vote in the upcoming presidential run-off on October 15. The candidates, Daniel Noboa and Luisa Gonzalez have differing approaches to addressing these issues. Noboa, a millionaire and son of a banana magnate, has described the situation as a war involving narco-terrorists and has pledged to incarcerate convicts on a prison ship.

Outgoing President Guillermo Lasso declared a nationwide state of emergency in response to the killing of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio earlier this month. Lasso emphasized that the crime would not go unpunished and vowed to hold organized crime accountable.

Ecuador’s murder rate has quadrupled since 2018, with the country recording a record 26 murders per 100,000 inhabitants last year. This rate surpasses those of Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil.

Author: CrimeDoor

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