May 20, 2024

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Ecuadorians cast their votes in a referendum on anti-crime laws – DW – 04/21/2024

Ecuadorians cast their votes in a referendum on anti-crime laws – DW – 04/21/2024

the Ecuadorians A vote will be held on Sunday (04/21/2024) to decide whether to tighten measures against organized crime and drug gangs, in light of the assassination of two mayors this week, unstoppable violence and worse. Blackouts From its history.

About 13.6 million people out of a population of 17.7 million are invited to vote on Sunday (04/21/2024) with “yes” or “no” on 11 questions about tightening measures against organized crime and drug gangs. For the president Daniel Noboa The referendum will serve as a thermometer for his intention to run for re-election next February.

The polling station coordinator prepares the room for the referendum. Photograph: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

Among the consultations is agreeing to extradite Ecuadorians on charges of terrorism, which has been prohibited by the Ecuadorian Constitution since 1945, expanding the tasks of the army in its fight against crime and tightening penalties for crimes such as drug smuggling.

Opinion polls indicate “yes”

Opinion polls estimate that a yes vote will win by up to 65% on average in Sunday's election, which will take place in a context of street massacres, political violence and the growing power of drugs.

In mining south Two mayors They were killed between Wednesday and Friday. A month ago they were also killed Mayor From a spa in the Pacific. Dozens of politicians, including presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, have been shot dead since 2023, when homicides rose to a record high of 43 per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 6 in 2018.

“This Sunday, we will deal the criminals the worst blow in history,” Noboa said in an Instagram video, as he lifted weights in the gym and flexed his muscles.

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Noboa Declared war To gang-linked organizations in Mexico and Colombia after a violent attack in January that killed about two dozen people. He then issued a decree declaring an internal armed conflict and ordered the armed forces to defeat about twenty groups considered “terrorist” and “warring.”