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Ecuadoreans give nod to tightened security amid gang violence

The result of a quick vote tally announced by the country’s National Electoral Council after voting finished late on Sunday showed that 60 to 73 percent of voters supported the referendum, Al Jazeera reported.

President Daniel Noboa, who took office in November, proposed the measures as the country faces rising violence that has seen two mayors killed in a week.

Citizens were asked 11 questions regarding the expansion of military and police powers, a significant tightening of gun control, and the imposition of harsher penalties for “terrorism”.

The proposals also included loosening obstacles to the extradition of accused criminals and lengthening prison sentences for convicted drug traffickers.

Rising insecurity in Ecuador has been blamed on gangs with links to transnational cartels using its ports to ship drugs to the United States and Europe.

Since January 2023, at least a dozen politicians have been killed, including presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, who was shot in August after a campaign event.

SD/PR

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