Home » Ecuador, referendum on security begins. Polls open to give extraordinary powers to the army against narcos

Ecuador, referendum on security begins. Polls open to give extraordinary powers to the army against narcos

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Ecuador, referendum on security begins.  Polls open to give extraordinary powers to the army against narcos

The president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, today is playing for everything in a referendum he promoted in which he will ask the population to support new security measures to combat the growing violence of organized crime in the country, strongly linked to drug trafficking.

The questions

Among the questions are allowing the military to patrol the streets alongside the police, extraditing criminals on trial and increasing prison sentences for crimes such as terrorism and murder. If approved, five of the planned measures would amend the Constitution.

A test for the president

However, the consultation also represents an image test for the young head of state, who took office last November and will seek re-election in 2025. The recent energy crisis, with blackouts lasting up to eight hours, and the government’s decision to partially suspend the electricity supply, would be damaging the image of the conservative leader and could influence the citizens’ vote.

Not all questions – which can be approved or rejected separately – concern safety. Some refer to economic changes Noboa wants to make, such as allowing workers to be hired by the hour.

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