Violent Gunmen Attack in Ecuador’s Guayaquil Leaves Nine Dead and Ten Injured

Quito, Ecuador – Gunmen carried out a deadly attack in Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil, resulting in nine deaths and 10 injuries, as reported by local police on Sunday. This incident marks the latest in a series of violent events occurring in the South American nation.

The assault occurred on a pedestrian street in the southern neighborhood of Guasmo at approximately 7 p.m. local time on Saturday. The armed assailants arrived in a grey Chevrolet Spark and opened fire on a group of individuals who were engaged in sporting activities. Police Colonel Ramiro Arequipa confirmed the tragic outcome of nine fatalities and 10 individuals sustaining injuries.

This unfortunate incident follows another mass shooting that took the lives of five individuals who were abducted and subsequently killed execution-style by an armed group in the coastal province of Manabi. Authorities suspect the victims may have been mistakenly targeted amid a local drug-trafficking dispute. Of the 11 kidnapped individuals, six, including five minors, were successfully rescued and reunited with their families. Two suspects were apprehended by the police on Saturday.

President Daniel Noboa of Ecuador addressed the recent violence, emphasizing the ongoing battle against narcoterrorism and its allies. He reiterated his commitment to combatting crime and ensuring the safety of the nation’s citizens.

Ecuador, once known for its peace and stability in Latin America, has experienced a surge in violent incidents in recent years. In response to escalating violence, President Noboa declared a state of emergency in January, allowing for continued security operations led by a combined force of police and military personnel. Certain areas, including Guayaquil, are subject to a five-hour curfew to address high crime rates.

The increase in violence in Ecuador has been further highlighted by the killing of a 27-year-old mayor and her colleague in Manabi, as well as a deadly riot at a Guayaquil prison under military and police supervision. The country’s rate of violent deaths has exceeded 40 per 100,000 inhabitants by the end of 2023, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced security measures and crime prevention strategies.