Quito´s citizens were shocked last weekend after finding out about the murder of Mariana Granja, a 68-years-old woman, who died after receiving bullet impacts outside a known shopping center located on Amazonas Avenue, in the north of the capital of Ecuador. The atrocity happened around 2 pm, Mariana was crossing the street with a friend when she was suddenly intercepted by an individual who tried to snatch her purse. She tried to avoid being robbed, then the perpetrator shot her several times. Instantly, the man got on a motorcycle and headed south of Quito. Mariana was transferred to a hospital nearby, but she had a wound in her head, which she couldn’t survive. After persecution, the police managed to catch the aggressor. The alleged murderer is a 19-years-old Venezuelan. After the charge hearing, he was assigned pretrial detention
After this terrible incident, Lenin Moreno, president of Ecuador, asked the National Assembly of the country to approve the reforms to the Human Mobility Law that were sent to the Legislative branch in July 2019. Currently, the reforms are being discussed within the International Relations Commission of this organism. Moreno said that this is urgent because the reforms would allow Ecuador to expel and deport those foreigners who come to the country to commit crimes or who are found committing crimes.
“Foreigners who come to enjoy the wonders of this country are always welcome. The brothers of the world are always welcome. Criminals are not. Those who come to harm our society, to murder, to commit crimes, to do the organized crime, no. They are not welcome. This issue is a priority. There is no country with zero crime, it is true. But we can approach if we work in a coordinated manner”, he said.
Crimes like the one mentioned before, perpetrated by foreigners, have generated outbreaks of xenophobia in Ecuador. The United Nations has expressed its concern about this matter. “Violence, delinquency, and crime are problems that affect all societies, and their origin does not correspond to a particular nationality”, stated the International Organization in their Twitter account. The United Nations also said that it is very important that all sectors of the country maintain the culture of peace and respect for rights and equality of all people, that has characterized Ecuador.
It would be reckless to blame only foreigners for Ecuador´s insecurity because that does not address reality. But what is undeniable is that the country needs urgent legal improvements to address insecurity more adequately.