Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

Ecuador’s latest State of Emergency not affecting banana and exotic fruit exports

The latest State of Emergency declared by Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa, in seven states and part of one province, has not impacted on the country's banana and exotic fruit exports. Many in the banana industry confirmed that "if anything, the State of Emergency is making the banana industry safer as the government tackles rampant crime."

Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa with security forces. Photo: Ecuador Government Bulletin

The State of Emergency was declared on Wednesday, 22 May, 2024, which is to last for 60 days. It follows after a prison warden was killed on Sunday, just as the country was voting in a Referendum brought by President Noboa who is seeking measures to fight criminal gangs and to bring the security situation under control. The past few months have seen several killings across seven of Ecuador's 24 provinces. In January, President Noboa declared a 'state of internal armed conflict' and deployed the army. This came after a gang leader was busted from prison, with violence breaking out in the open as gangs went on the rampage in many cities, taking over a live show at a television station and killing several people while holding prison guards hostage. This led President Noboa to declare criminal gangs as terrorist organisations. It said these criminal gangs are from the drug trade in other South American countries who have taken a hold in Ecuador, which was known as a peaceful country.

While the earlier state of emergency helped to quell the violent spate of attacks, kidnappings and extortions continued. Some of the provinces affected by the declaration are big banana and exotic fruit growing areas. The affected areas are Guayas, El Oro, Santa Elena, Manabi, Sucumbios, Orellana and Los Rios provinces, as well as one area of the Azuay province.

In the current climate and fight in Ecuador, the fear of recriminations and speaking out in public is life-threatening. Many players in Ecuador's fresh produce industry were cautious to comment.

Ecuador's banana industry body noted, "The State of Emergency does not affect anything, on the contrary, it gives us more security."

An exotic fruit grower and exporter in Ecuador noted: "This does not affect exports in any way, rather it strengthens controls and helps the production chain to be safer because there is military force in the streets and crime cannot operate. It is focused on the provinces since it is the second facet of cleaning up crime, and the truth is that it gives greater security since the productive chain does not stop but is managed in a better and more protective way."

Another banana industry source noted, "Exports in Ecuador is the only chain that does not get issued with limitations and is not affected by the State of Emergency."

Ecuadorian government is fighting 'narco-terrorism'
According to a recent bulletin (Bulletin No. 227) issued by the Ecuadorian government on behalf of President Noboa, he urges global cooperation in the fight against narco-terrorism and addressing domestic political challenges. "It is not a problem of a single country... The entire region is immersed in drug trafficking and violence. Part of that violence is already being seen in Europe." He made this plea in a recent trip to European leaders as part of a "global call to join forces against this scourge and promote a global fight."

In the bulletin, Noboa states that 40% of the drugs that leave Ecuador are distributed to the United States, another 40% to Europe and the remaining 20% ​​are distributed between the Middle East, Russia and Asia. Consequently, he highlighted the importance of implementing fundamental concrete measures such as border control. "Ecuador pays special attention to these areas, especially from the province of El Oro to Peru due to the amount of violence in this area and irregular migration, with the risk of human trafficking. These problems use the same or similar routes as drug trafficking."