An Ecuadorian prosecutor was shot dead in Guayaquil’s middle of the street on Monday, September 19.
He was Edgar Escobar Zambrano, who throughout his career investigated cases of murder, drug trafficking, false information, and robberies, among others, and who was currently working as prosecutor of the People and Criminal Guarantees Unit of Guayaquil.
The newspaper El Universal reported that according to preliminary versions, Escobar had been in the park in front of the Prosecutor’s Office polishing his shoes when hired assassins approached him. He tried to run but was unable to evade the bullets.
Two suspects were captured near Santa Ana hill, 15 minutes away from the place where the prosecutor was murdered. In the arrest operation, the National Police seized a motorcycle and the weapon with which the prosecutor was shot.
Edgar Escobar is the third prosecutor murdered this year, in response to which the Attorney General, Diana Salazar, said that “the actions of crime will not stop the work of the Prosecutor General’s Office to combat crime in our country. We demand guarantees and security to carry out our work”.
A month ago, prosecutor Federico Estrella was shot by hired killers in Los Ríos, after being shot between five and six times by unknown persons on a motorcycle while he was driving his vehicle. And in May of this year, the prosecutor Luz Marina Delgado, who arrested the partner of the “Ecuadorian Pablo Escobar”, was also killed by hired killers.
It is worth noting that, in 2010, Escobar was director of the Litoral Penitentiary, the most violent prison in the country, 2010. He was currently in charge of the investigation into the fourth prison massacre that took place in November 2021. In addition, he investigated the case of corruption and bribery that left millionaire losses to the Social Security Institute of the National Police; and was part of the investigation into the murder by the hired assassination of Jaime Villagómez Fayad, the young animal rescuer.
Guayaquil, Durán, and Samborondón have become some of the most dangerous cities in Ecuador, concentrating the highest number of violent deaths this year: 939 out of 2,471 registered in the country until September 1. Guayaquil even entered the list of the 50 most violent cities in the world for its homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants.
Violence and organized crime take over Ecuador
On September 13, the government of Ecuador, led by President Guillermo Lasso, extended a 30-day state of emergency due to the wave of violence throughout the country. So far this year, there have reportedly been around 1,000 violent deaths, with most of the homicides taking place in the coastal province of Guayas, where robberies and assaults have also skyrocketed.
According to the latest World Drug Report, published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the port of Guayaquil is one of the main departure points for cocaine from South America to the United States and Europe, mainly.
The same report states that Ecuador is the country with the third highest volume of drug seizures, behind only Colombia and the United States.
Image: BBC News