Ecuador increases cocaine seizures but struggles to arrest traffickers

Ecuador police seized 35 tons of cocaine between January and April 2021, an increase of 58% compared with the same period in 2020. The former director of Ecuador’s Public Defender’s Office commented that, despite this increase, it has become more difficult to arrest traffickers following reforms to the Organic Penal Code in 2020. It is now necessary to demonstrate that someone caught with drugs had intended to commercialise them in order to bring a prosecution.