The assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, an outspoken former journalist, in Quito on Wednesday highlights the continued insecurity and volatility in Ecuador. Villavicencio was shot and killed just days before voting was set to begin in an election dominated by concerns over drug related violence and corruption. Ecuador is now under a state of emergency as the country awaits new elections, which remain scheduled for August 20. Concentric urges all travelers to Ecuador in the coming weeks to maintain awareness of their surroundings and monitor local news for any updates.
- Crime: Crime poses a HIGH risk to travelers in Ecuador. Street crime is prevalent in Quito and travelers should stay particularly alert near tourist areas, including the Panecillo, Bellavista neighborhood, and the downtown Historic District. Other high crime areas include the Mariscal Sucre district and the area surrounding Plaza Foch.
- Muggings and pickpocketing are common, with armed assaults reported in public parks. Police response times vary and the U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Colombian border area.
- Civil Instability: Protests are common in Quito and will likely increase as the election draws near. Strikes and protests are generally peaceful but often involve roadblocks in Quito and on rural highways. Violent protests and roadblocks in June 2022 prompted President Lasso to impose movement restrictions.
Concentric’s Global Intelligence Team is monitoring the situation in Ecuador. If you or your clients need travel support, Concentric offers active monitoring services to keep you up to date on current events, and travel risk assessments prior to travel. We also offer physical security services to ensure you and your assets remain safe, particularly in times of uncertainty.
If you have any questions about Concentric or its services, please do not hesitate to reach out.