Ecuador’s president delivers armored vehicles to army to combat organized crime

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 Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on Monday presented the country’s army with 20 Turkish-made Cobra II armored vehicles to help fight organized crime.

“Today I am pleased to deliver these 20 Turkish-made Cobra II vehicles,” Lasso said during the handover ceremony in the capital Quito, adding that 15 more units will arrive in October.

“This fleet will serve to defend our sovereignty and our security,” he said.

Cobra II is a 4×4 tactical wheeled armored vehicle designed and produced by Turkish company Otokar, with a capacity for nine personnel and a high level of protection against bullets and explosives.

On Aug 10, Lasso declared a nationwide state of emergency for 60 days to counter a wave of violence around the country — including killings, kidnappings and armed attacks against politicians — just over a month before a presidential runoff on Oct 15.

Defense Minister Luis Lara thanked the government for supporting the Armed Forces.

“Ecuador is no longer the calm nation of the last century … criminal organizations now put the security of Ecuadorians at serious risk, attack their institutions and have even tried to undermine democracy,” said the minister.

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