The Police and the Armed Forces prioritize controls in places considered “obligatory steps” for people. Today the classes begin.
The parish of Mataje is watched by the Armed Forces and the National Police since the state of emergency rules in San Lorenzo and Eloy Alfaro, in Esmeraldas, after the attacks with explosives that left 4 soldiers dead; the kidnapping and murder of 3 workers of El Comercio newspaper; and the kidnapping of two people from Santo Domingo.
However, General Juan Jaramillo, head of Zone 1 of the National Police, acknowledged that there are “any number of steps that are impossible to control.”
To enter this border parish, on the sides of the road there are large palm plantations and copious vegetation, which makes total control difficult.
“There are points, as in the Mataje River, which takes 1 minute to cross into Colombia, there are even places that can be crossed by walking,” the official said.
For this reason, 5 specific units of the Police and the Armed Forces carry out intelligence, for example, gathering information on the bands dedicated to drug and fuel trafficking.
But he warned that these transnational criminal organizations also “makes intelligence”, to determine routes and moments to cross the border.
The Ecuadorian forces prioritize their actions in places considered as “obligatory steps” for people. This is the case of the road that connects Mataje, especially at kilometer 3,8. There is prohibited, if it is the case, the access of people who do not live in the parish.
Road controls were reinforced to reach that area of Esmeraldas.
There are also controls on the Ibarra-San Lorenzo road. There the operations in Salinas, Lita and San Jerónimo were reinforced.
On the route from Esmeraldas to San Lorenzo there are 2 more controls: on the ‘Y’ of Ricaurte and Calderón. There is also a presence in Palma Real, Ecuadorian town furthest from the border. There is also surveillance in Limones and El Pan. “The operations are mostly combined,” the general said.
The Marine Corps teams also patrol the arm of the sea that exists in the canton of San Lorenzo.
Under that scenario, today they will start classes in Mataje. According to the Ministry of Education, 282 students from the Labores Agrícolas, La Cadena, Campanita and Santander communities will begin activities with police and military protection. (I)