Below is an interview with Pedro Pablo Duart, conducted by Diario Expreso.
Original version: https://www.expreso.ec/guayaquil/entrevista-pedropabloduart-delincuencia-ciudad-IJ3128381
After 15 days of being possessed, EXPRESO dialogued with Duart about the insecurity situation facing Guayaquil and the measures it will take to reduce crime rates. It also refers to facts that generate debate, among them that criminals no longer hide their faces. And to the operations executed jointly between police and military, in which the City Hall also participates, a measure that citizens, although it is timely, still seems insufficient.
– In just one week, in Zone 8 (Guayaquil, Durán and Samborondón), more than 11,600 operations were carried out in which weapons were seized and gangs dismantled. The measure, which responds to the Great Security Crusade, implemented by the President of the Republic, promises to curb the problem. But do you think it will be enough?
– The operations are being done today, yes; but it is also working hand in hand with other actors, such as the academy, the unions, the municipalities, the Prefecture…, because it is everyone’s responsibility for this to work and for this, we must be tuned. However, we are also working in the social field. If there is a crime, it is probably because there is a lack of opportunities, entrepreneurship, education. That is why we are working on several projects, including one that we have called ‘The Government in your neighborhood’, in which we will work with the political headquarters and ministries, and we will train the population so that they can undertake or work. We will start in October, for the holidays (of Guayaquil). And that’s why there will be some changes.
– What type?
– By disposition of the president, the funds that were previously destined for the city festivities (July and October), will now be used to train people. This does not mean that we are not going to participate in the official acts, we will simply not execute the playful acts, which last only a couple of hours, to benefit the community in another way. This also brings security.
– During your administration, how will you act in such critical areas as Socio Housing, where the sale and consumption of drugs prevail and the rates of violence are high?
– The area will be intervened. In fact, the police are doing intelligence work there. However, I cannot give more details because it would ruin the surprise factor and the work that the entity is doing.
– But is it not more convenient for the area to be declared an emergency?
– That will be determined only by studies. If necessary, if that says the results, I will.
– Why did you leave the Municipality of Guayaquil? Are there differences with Mayor Cynthia Viteri?
– There are cycles that must be closed. I am a faithful believer that when you close cycles in the right way, new challenges come to face. And that is what happened, I closed a cycle, assumed several familiar pending issues and when everything was channeled I received this proposal from President Moreno.
– Have you met with Mayor Viteri to discuss the situation facing the city?
– No, I haven’t had the chance to do it yet. I have not been able to meet with any mayor, although I will, with everyone. For now, I have talked with the police in all areas, with the executives of ECU-911; I have articulated actions with all the State actors and then continue with the rest, including the Prefecture.
– Will you work on a specific project with Mayor Viteri?
– I aim to work articulately and help is maintained. We have a good relationship with all mayors. That is why we will all approach the same.
– Viteri and the representatives of some unions consider that, in part, the insecurity was exacerbated thanks to the “pro-criminal” laws that defend the offender more than the citizen. Do you think so?
– Yes and that kind of laws is what should change. It is necessary to tighten penalties for crimes involving murders, rapes, kidnappings; as well as more support for police work. It is not possible that a policeman cannot use his weapon to defend himself, nor is it possible that he is imprisoned for imposing his authority. The time has come for them to be respected. And it is not done. At the national level, for example, there are 900 citizens sanctioned for spitting, biting and hitting them. That must end.
– But how to do it?
– With laws that support them when they carry out their work and being aware, above all, of certain bad judges and prosecutors who release criminals. It cannot be that for a few, we are imprisoned in the houses or run the risk of scare off tourism, something that has not happened because the figures do not reflect it, but that could happen. That is why I emphasize that the issue of security is very serious. We must be aware that we all join or scrub.
– You have talked about creating a commission of citizen veterans who can identify which are the corrupt judges and prosecutors. How will they do it? Who will these seers be and how will they choose them?
– We have not yet structured it, but it must be composed of journalists, representatives of public opinion, the common citizen. That is yet to be defined. What can not be is that, as happened in Durán recently, you have to stop a thug for raping an older adult and he has nine arrests? That can’t happen. In fact, I promise to put my signature if I have to report a judge.
– Regarding the COIP reform in which the Christian Social Party asks that the name and face of criminals caught in blatant crimes be published, what do you think? Approves It?
– If it’s in the flagrant act, yes. I agree one hundred percent. This is necessary, a balm for people who want and seek reaction and answers.
– What will the Government do to reduce the sale of drugs outside schools, which is a problem that still has no solution?
– At this point, we are going to ask for the collaboration of the Mayor’s Office of Guayaquil and the rest of the cantons so that they do not give permission to operate the premises that could be involved in the microtrafficking. I already met with the Undersecretary of Education of Zone 8 and gave me the list of the most critical schools. There the operations will be constant, permanent, and we are still analyzing whether the presence in these areas will be strengthened with dogs. It’s still in we’ll see.
– According to the experts, to generate real changes in the neighborhoods of Guayaquil, you must have the support of their leaders, who are the ones who know what they are vulnerable to. What kind of participation will they have?
– We will activate all existing political headquarters in the canton and with them, we will have a series of meetings. They must be ‘part of’. We will listen to the leaders to change what needs to change and improve it. You don’t have to work alone. Neither the Government, nor the Municipality, nor the Prosecutor, nobody should do it alone.
– And what will happen to sectors such as La Puntilla, where even now diving they enter the houses through the river? There we talk about the need to incorporate more boats to operate.
– I spoke with the Vice President of the Republic and I understand that more will come. We must, however, recognize that we are going through a government that inherited 10 years of chaos and we are paying the consequences of a bad government, which has been the most corrupt in the history of Ecuador. We are doing things right. Obviously we do not have the capacity that others had and squandered, but within our means, we will attend to the needs that all cantons require. Within that, is the acquisition of boats.