Ecuador: Six killed in armed attack in tourist town

At least six people were killed and as many wounded when gunmen opened fire at a restaurant in the Ecuadorian tourist town of Montañita, the prosecutor’s office said on Sunday.

An investigation into the “armed attack at a restaurant in Montenita”, a seaside resort on the Pacific coast, is ongoing, he said on his Twitter account.

The murders took place on Saturday evening in a busy area of ​​the coastal city. Prosecutors have not yet specified the identities or ages of the victims.

“We heard noises: bang, bang, bang and people were shouting: ‘Run, run, run, it’s gunfire! ‘” his identity for fear of retribution.

This is the second massacre in a city on the country’s Pacific coast this week.

Investigators at the scene of a gunman attack on a restaurant in the tourist town of Montañita, Ecuador, May 20, 2023, killing at least 6 people (- STRINGER)

Prosecutors said on Thursday gunmen entered a funeral parlor in the nearby port of Manta and opened fire on attendees, killing four and wounding eight.

Ecuador, the world’s largest cocaine producer, located between Colombia and Peru, is experiencing the worst increase in violence in its recent history.

Drug-related crime nearly doubled the homicide rate between 2021 and 2022, from 14 to 25 per 100,000 residents.

In mid-April, in Esmeraldas province in the country’s northwest, bordering Colombia, about thirty armed men opened fire on a fishing port, killing nine people.

Two weeks later, gunmen opened fire on people watching a football match in a mechanic’s workshop, killing ten people and injuring three others, including a five-year-old girl.

Officials attribute the violence to a struggle between gangs and cartels over control of smuggling routes in the Pacific, a strategic corridor for the flow of drugs into the United States and Europe.

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