The incineration of the drug seized in the country is not carried out in accordance with the terms established in the Penal Code. This norm says that the destruction of the narcotics must be done 15 days after the process passes to the public investigation phase (Article 474, numeral 3).
Despite this, in Ecuador there are 26.4 tons of drugs, whose destruction is scheduled until next month (November 2018). The alkaloid that will be burned corresponds to seizures made to bands dedicated to drug trafficking and local sales.
With Executive Decree 376, last April, the Ministry of the Interior assumed the task of destroying these substances. This task was carried out by the Technical Secretariat for Drugs (Seted), but the entity disappeared.
The first burn in charge of this Ministry was held on July 16, in Esmeraldas. One ton of drug was eliminated. After the seizure, the illicit substances pass initially to the warehouses of the Antinarcotics Directorate.
From there they go to the Ministry of the Interior, with a court order. Currently, the 26.4 tons of narcotics are stored in five warehouses, nationwide. It is a drug seized from 2016 until this year.
The two most important bunkers are in Quito and Guayaquil. For security, the specific sites were not revealed. La Seted had a private security company that guarded the warehouses. Now, permanent protection is in charge of the National Antinarcotics Directorate and community agents.
Police say that these places have a video surveillance system, padlocks on the doors and electronic security. From July 1 to October 10, 2018, 15.9 tons of narcotics have been incinerated.
Cocaine, heroin, marijuana, etc. were eliminated
A burning lasts around eight hours. In Cuenca, for example, one of the processes was carried out in the furnaces of a private company. It happened at the end of September and 11 tons of cocaine were burned. It has also been incinerated in Carchi, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Pichincha and El Oro.
Diego Tipán, undersecretary of Security, points out that the COIP deadlines are not met with precision and attributes it, for example, to the “lack of time” of the judges. At this time there is still accumulated drug of 2016 and 2017.
A magistrate must be present during the destruction process. He verifies the chemical test and signs a record showing the amount and type of drug eliminated. Before there was also drug accumulated since 1992.
Tipán said that at that time the judicial processes were extinguished and nobody reviewed that there was accumulated drug. It was recently destroyed between 2015 and 2016. Therefore, the authorities coordinated with the Council of the Judiciary so that deadlines are respected.
With this coordination, now a judge is appointed once a month to comply with the oversight process. Before, Seted hired a private company, which cost the State USD 1.46 plus VAT, for every kilo destroyed. (I)