Why the sheer violence in Ecuador is connected to CJNG and the drug-smuggling corridor from South America to the USA

A security expert talks about the motives behind the attacks undertaken by criminal organization in the South American country.

Recent attacks in Ecuador by local gangs have been marked by links to a criminal organization of Mexican origin, the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG).

Given the various attacks, Infobae Mexico consulted with a specialist in security issues to assess the problems that Ecuador is going through. Mario Pazmiño has worked as a consultant and as the former intelligence director of the Ecuadorian Army.

There is a permanent psychosis of insecurity that continues to grow due to the violence of local groups and the influence of international Mexican groups,” said Mario Pazmiño, a security analyst.

During an interview, he pointed out that Ecuador is in a strategic position for drug trafficking, which is one factor that makes the environment complex.

The CJNG has been linked to criminal groups in Ecuador to expand their business in the world of drug trafficking (Photo: Infobae México / Jovani Pérez)
The CJNG has been linked to criminal groups in Ecuador to expand their business in the world of drug trafficking (Photo: Infobae México / Jovani Pérez)

“The cocaine outflow vector that is in the department of Nariño (Colombia) and the province of Esmeraldas (Ecuador), in that strip that goes to the Pacific, about 75% of the cocaine production of Colombia leaves, this means that there is an overflow of about 700 tons to Ecuadorian territory and these tons leave through different ports and airports that are international distribution platforms.”

Criminal organizations fight for control of drug routes. The interest of local gangs and the influence of international organizations complicate the scenario and are one of the sources of violence. It is also worth noting that Pazmiño recognizes a growing presence of the Gulf Cartel in Nariño.

November began with explosive attacks, presumably due to the transfer of inmates from the Litoral Penitentiary (Ed. Penitenciaría del Litoral); however, aggressions related to the CJNG had been registered weeks before.

Attack on a media outlet (RTS)

Two armed men attacked the facilities of the RTS media outlet in Guayaquil during the early hours of October 7. They left messages in which they threatened to kill the national director of the media and even the newspaper vendors.

In response to these violent actions, the Government of Ecuador issued a statement that roundly condemned the acts of violence against two media outlets, including the newspaper Extra.

For its part, Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office said through its social networks that it had launched an investigation and called the incident an “attack,” specifying that it had not been able to identify the attackers.

It should be noted that according to local media in the country, La Nueva Generación is identified as an Ecuadorian group linked to the Mexican criminal organization CJNG.

In addition, specialized drug trafficking sites such as Insight Crime report that Ecuador’s Los Choneros have been identified as associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. In this way, two of the most important national criminal organizations are in charge of the Mexican drug trade.

The attack on El Extra newspaper

The attacks were not only against the TV channel but also against the newspaper El Extra. The newspaper stressed its commitment to its readers to continue reporting on security issues.

El Extra is identified as a red news outlet, and its logo was crossed out in the threatening messages left by the attackers.

The CJNG against the police in Ecuador

Shortly after the attacks on the media, a new aggression was registered, but this time against a security institution. Armed men attacked with firearms the Community Police Unit in Guayaquil.

CJNG Ecuador police attack Guayaquil (Photo: Twitter/@Cromaclictv1)
CJNG Ecuador police attack Guayaquil (Photo: Twitter/@Cromaclictv1)

The armed assault was recorded during the early hours of October 9. Once again, threatening messages were left, but this time they bore the signature of the CJNG. In addition, as a result of the aggression, a police officer was seriously injured. The officer was identified as Verónica Mireya Songor Tapia.

In response to the violence, the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, reported that he spoke with the officer’s family, who he said was “fighting for her life because of the vile attack.”

“We do not want to harm, but if they continue, we are going to do it; (…) anyone who sees these police abusing their uniform, the CJNG is also going to abuse the power we have and has the order and the right to kill every police officer. Death or death,” the document concludes.