Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever wants the Belgian police to send detectives to Ecuador to form a unit with the police there in the fight against drug crime. This is what the Gazet van Antwerpen writes on Saturday.
Image: the port of Guayaquil
De Wever, together with Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and his Hamburg colleague Peter Tschentscher, went to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica to establish partnerships with the ports, the police, customs and the judiciary.
Mayor De Wever was impressed by the situation in Ecuador, writes the Gazet van Antwerpen, where drug gangs do not hesitate to kill politicians, judges and police officers. The port of Guayaquil in Ecuador is the main export port of cocaine to Europe and the United States.
De Wever met with the president and various representatives of the police and judiciary in Ecuador. “Those people are at their wits’ end and afraid,” said De Wever. They can use all the help they can get.’
The mayor of Antwerp believes that the Belgian government should send police officers to Ecuador to form a so-called Supported Unit. Supported Units are specialized teams of foreign police officers and local detectives who focus on top criminals or so-called high value targets.
For example, the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was eliminated by a Supported Unit of Colombian and American police officers, according to the Gazet.
Belgium is one of the few countries that does not yet participate in Supported Units. The Netherlands and France have been forming such mixed police teams in South America for some time. Spain and Italy also participate in Supported Units in South America.