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Ecuador: 300 Fishermen Arrested Over Drug Trafficking


Around 300 Ecuadorian fishermen have been arrested by foreign authorities in the last three years for being involved in international drug-trafficking chain.  These people belong to the coastal provinces of Manabi, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Santa Elena, and El Oro.

According to The Northern Operations Command of Ecuador’s Armed Forces, all fishermen are now under the custody in either the United States, Guatemala, or Colombia.

Daily Caller reports that these Ecuadorian fishermen work with Mexican drug cartels to transport drugs via boat to Central America, then Mexico and finally US. They were coaxed into illegal drug-business for money.

“If you get involved in [drug trafficking], you will make a lot of money, but afterwards, there are only two ways out: you get killed or you go to jail,” said a fisherman.

El Commercio reported a case of a fisherman, who was offered $80,000 to transport two tons of cocaine to Central America. He told media that he turned down the offer.

Ecuador is a drug-business point for Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers. They smuggle cocaine north to Mexico and the United States.The Colombian drug traffickers have been in the business for decades. They operate it from Ecuador from years.

A Colombian rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – FARC) is known to have shipped tons of cocaine through Ecuador to Mexican drug cartels.

In 2015, Ecuador authorities confiscated 13.3 tons of illicit drugs between January 1 and February 22.  While in 2014, 2.5 tons of drugs were seized, Insight Crime reported.

Last year, Ricardo Camacho, an Ecuadorian security analyst, said that the authorities have come across another route around the Galapagos. Most of the drugs had been seized from this route.

In November, 2015, families of some detained fisherman had appealed the provincial government of Esmeraldas to help deport their husbands from foreign countries and let them serve sentence in Ecuador.


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