Currently, for the Ecuadorian military to participate in support of the National Police, the president must declare a state of emergency. (SNAI).
Luis Lara, Secretary of Defense of Ecuador, accompanied by the military high command, appeared before the Amendments Commission of the National Congress to present a proposal for a partial constitutional reform related to the participation of the Armed Forces in complementary combat operations to contain the drug trafficking and organized crime.
The minister of this portfolio has repeatedly emphasized that the Armed Forces will not carry out or replace police operations, but that the Armed Forces would complement the National Police within the scope of the powers of each of these public security bodies and as established the law. He added that the reform is intended to prevent the executive from constantly resorting to issuing decrees of a state of emergency because it restricts other fundamental rights.
The purpose of the amendment is to grant the President of the Republic the power to mobilize the armed forces without having to declare a state of emergency. However, the mobilization decree would be enabled only after there is a request for support made by the National Police. Minister Lara pointed out that, with the amendment, it would be the police who would classify the situation of need as an event of extreme need.
Defense Minister Luis Lara (Ministry of Defence).
General Lara emphasized that the Armed Forces will not carry out police operations because they are not empowered to do so, he insisted that they will do so within the scope of their powers and with the sole intention of collaborating collectively with the National Police in containing transnational crime.
The senior official said that Congress is primarily responsible for providing the tools to restore peace by approving legislation that provides the broadest guarantees to protect citizens from the threat of drug trafficking and international crime.
Drug trafficking and transnational crime are threats to the public security of the State, according to government authorities. (Ecuador Police)
The Head of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, General Nelson Proaño, emphasized that the main mission of the Armed Forces is to protect sovereignty and territorial integrity, but that, nevertheless, in various emergency situations, the Armed Forces help the police national in its operations to protect this very sovereignty from transnational threats. He said that, in 2022, during the state of emergency decreed by the President of the Republic, five events were held in different provinces, of which nine decrees were issued. Without the reform, the Armed Forces regularly assist the police only in matters associated with the control of arms, ammunition, and explosives.
As for education in human rights, Proaño pointed out that this area of knowledge is part of military doctrine and is included in all military training institutions, as well as in security procedures update and improvement courses. Today the armed forces carry out continuous education and training plans in human rights. Proaño assures that as a State security body they are prepared and trained to support the National Police in various operations.
The Occasional Committee on Amendments is expected to present its first report on the proposed constitutional amendment by the second week of February.
Guillermo Lasso proposed a reform of the Constitution of Ecuador to authorize the Armed Forces to fight drug traffickingGuillermo Lasso affirmed that he achieved the lowest unemployment in the history of Ecuador and that poverty also fell
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