Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Ecuador shrimp mafia - update

A second death in 2023 has been recorded in Ecauador as robbery, extortion, assault, and murder of shrimp farm workers by armed gangs feeding off the lucrative industry rises. In the last three years organized crime groups have murdered seven shrimp farmers, injured at least 60, and stolen shrimp and equipment worth millions. Authorities have proven unable to protect the shrimp sector workers. The entire shrimp sector in the country is under constant attack. Ecuador’s shrimp exports reached a record $3.65 billion in 2021, but that success has also brought organized crime that is beyond control of authorities.
Ecuador’s shrimp industry is a rising economic star, globally. The sector now produces more than $5b in annual exports and has solidified its position as the country’s second-largest industry after oil. China imports almost 900,000 tons of shrimp, of which 70% comes from Ecuador. The Ecuadorian shrimp industry continues to battle rising organized crime attacks. Criminals intercepted a boat working in the shrimp sector in the Gulf of Guayaquil. The attack led to the vessel's operator being taken to a medical facility after receiving first aid.
This year there have been 48 criminal incidents involving the shrimp sector, leaving 31 people injured.
A trade body is working with the police and navy to concentrate their efforts in areas such as kilometre 26 of the Naranjal road, the Gulf of Guayaquil (Puerto Roma and Punta Piedra) and the JambelĂ­ Archipelago.

 Compared to the same period last year, theft from sites has increased by 35%, and feed theft by 100%. At the same time the number of injured has doubled.