Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency in Guayaquil, the country’s industrial capital, after a massive explosion killed at least five people. The local government blamed the case on organized crime.
According to the Ecuadorian authorities, the episode took place in Cristo del Consuelo and left 20 injured, in addition to having destroyed eight houses and two vehicles. On social media, police warned that it was a “large explosion”, but did not provide further details.
Ecuadorian Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo blamed organized crime for the blast in a message on social media. “Organized crime mercenaries, who drugged the economy for a long time, now attack with explosives. It’s a declaration of war on the state,” he said.
The newspaper “El Universo” specified that the measure by the Ecuadorian president will last at least 30 days and is the third of the same type that Lasso has imposed on Guayaquil since the beginning of his term.
With the state of emergency declared, Lasso intends to allow the police and the army to intervene to fight the crime that operates in Guayaquil.
Ecuador has been facing in recent years a large wave of crime, mainly due to drug trafficking. The country neighbors Colombia and Peru, some of the biggest cocaine producers in the world.
“Either we unite to face it or the price will be even greater for society,” the Ecuadorian minister added in his message.