The good people of Ecuador have a lot to celebrate these days. Sure, the country was overrun by gang warfare, but in the spirit of El Salvador’s Bukele, the government is fighting back hard and turning the tables on the bad guys, and the citizens couldn’t be happier. They call it the “iron fist,” and they say these tactics are working and bringing peace and security to a once very violent and bloody country. These “iron fist” tactics are all thanks to Ecuador’s President Daniel Noboa, who officially hit the panic button, calling out an “internal conflict” in an all-hands-on-deck situation. This dire move is made when armed groups have you cornered. The president sent the troops out to take on the gangs that had hijacked Ecuador, fighting tooth and nail over cocaine trade routes. Ecuador was once a peaceful little corner of South America, but thanks to gang warfare, it’s now topping the charts for all the wrong reasons—it’s become one of the deadliest corners.
The head of Ecuador’s military didn’t mince words; he alerted every gang member that they are in the crosshairs now and are marked as a target of the military.
Since Ecuador’s president declared war on gangs last month, soldiers with assault rifles have flooded the streets of Guayaquil, a sprawling Pacific Coast city that has been an epicenter of the nation’s yearslong descent into violence.
They pull men from buses and cars looking for drugs, weapons and gang tattoos, and patrol roads enforcing a nighttime curfew. The city is on edge, its men and teenage boys potential targets for troops and police officers who have been ordered to take down powerful gangs that have joined forces with international cartels to make Ecuador a hub of the global drug trade.
Yet when people see soldiers pass, many clap or give them a thumbs-up. “We applaud the iron fist, we celebrate it,” said Guayaquil’s mayor, Aquiles Álvarez. “It has helped bring peace.”
In early January, Guayaquil was hit by a wave of violence that could prove to be a turning point in the country’s long-running security crisis: Gangs attacked the city after the authorities moved to take charge of Ecuador’s prisons, which gangs largely controlled.
Of course, these “iron fist” tactics are working, but liberal “human rights” organizations are apparently worried about the rights of a bunch of bloodthirsty killers. The New York Times piece goes on:
Mr. Noboa’s aggressive response has reduced violence and brought a precarious sense of safety to places like Guayaquil, a city of 2.7 million and a key drug-trafficking port, pushing approval of the government to 76 percent in a recent national survey.
It has also raised alarms among human rights activists.
“We’re not seeing anything new or innovative,” said Fernando Bastias of the Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights of Guayaquil. “What we’re seeing is an increase in cases of grave human rights violations.”
Ecuador’s approach has drawn comparisons to El Salvador, whose young leader, Nayib Bukele, has largely dismantled its vicious gangs, earning him a landslide re-election victory and adulation across Latin America. But critics say he has also trampled human rights and the rule of law, ordering mass arrests that ensnared innocent people.
Noboa recently appeared on CNN to discuss his “iron fist” plans and how he’s conquering the deadly gangs.
They’re going to need a lot of prisons to hold all of these thugs, and President Noboa realizes that, and he has a plan for that as well. The New York Times goes on:
Like Mr. Bukele, Mr. Noboa, 36, wants to build mega-prisons and his social media posts feature pumping music and images of prisoners handcuffed and stripped to the waist. He proclaims it “The Noboa Way.”
The “Noboa Way” sounds very promising. And speaking of the prisons, Bukele’s new “supermax” is incredible and is filling up fast. He’s made it very clear that the only way the inmates will leave his facility is in a body bag. Here’s a look inside that prison and the inmates who are now singing a totally different tune:
The President of CSPI Center, Richard Hanania, is also celebrating this amazing turn of events in Ecuador, and shared this additional information in a brief thread on X:
You know the story of El Salvador, but watch what’s happening in Ecuador.
After violence erupted in January, President Daniel Noboa has declared a state of internal armed conflict and sent in the troops. The new way of doing things has been called “the Noboa way.”
Murder in the effected areas is already plummeting, and Noboa’s approval rating is at 76%.
But the human rights lobby is very concerned.
This story probably sounds very similar to you. The government and regular people on one side, criminals and the international left on the other.
If other countries are able to replicate Bukele’s success, it will be devastating for the leftist worldview. What if all this time crime was a choice? That you can eliminate it pretty easily, as long as you focus on and take out criminals without paying attention to so-called civil libertarians and those who talk about “root causes”?
In a just world there would be accountability for those who have been lying to us for so long and caused so much damage. But they sit in offices in DC or Brussels, or the Ivy Tower, divorced from the consequences of their beliefs. Meanwhile, leaders in Latin America are finally starting to ignore them so they can fix their problems.
Let’s all wish President Noboa and the people of Ecuador the best of luck.
“In Guayaquil, soldiers and police officers destroy camera systems installed by gangs to watch over entire neighborhoods, storm into areas once largely off-limits to the police and knock down doors to uncover caches of guns and explosives.” The gangs were allowed to have their own camera surveillance systems of neighborhoods! Why?
Even the NYT admits the Noboa way is working. The story on this is full of regular people talking about how happy they are that this is finally happening. Of course there are complaints from professional activists, but they feel halfhearted at this point. The pro-crime lobby is losing.
You know the story of El Salvador, but watch what's happening in Ecuador.
After violence erupted in January, President Daniel Noboa has declared a state of internal armed conflict and sent in the troops. The new way of doing things has been called "the Noboa way."
Murder in… pic.twitter.com/SodPn74b5t
— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) February 12, 2024
Gee, when you stop putting thugs and villains on a pedestal, pretending they’re champions of civil rights, the whole narrative flips. Just how feeble does a government have to get to allow criminals to take the reins while honest, hard-working folks bear the brunt of their chaos? And then to just stand by, idle, as if they’re bewildered spectators at their own circus? Sadly, this is the stark reality unfolding in liberal-run cities like San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and too many others to count. This is the Democrat platform, where rapers, murderers, and robbers are the victims, and people who vote the “wrong way” are the real threats. That’s communism in a nutshell, and it’s happening right here in the United States of America.
We need to embrace the “Bukele” and “Noboa” methods before it’s too late.