British tourists in Ecuador put on alert as state of emergency is declared

A 60-day state of emergency has been declared for the whole of Ecuador after a presidential candidate was shot dead following a campaign rally in Quito. 

Britons in the South American country have been urged by the Foreign Office to avoid potential demonstrations, large groups and political gatherings.

The state of emergency came ahead of legislative and presidential elections due to take place on August 20.

President Guillermo Lasso said the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was an attempt to sabotage the election, and he insisted that voting would still go ahead.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice for Ecuador to say: “The state of emergency that was announced for Manabí, Los Ríos, and the Durán district in Guayas province on 24 July has been superseded by the new nationwide state of emergency issued on 10 August. There is no curfew in place under the new decree.

“British Nationals are advised to avoid potential demonstrations, large gatherings and political gatherings. 

“You should also be aware of the potential for increased police and military presence in the streets due to the 60-day state of emergency declared by the president on 10 August.

“Street demonstrations, protests and strikes are common. Although most are peaceful, they can turn violent. You should monitor local media and avoid all large gatherings.”

The FCDO already advises against all but essential travel to areas within 20km of the Ecuadorean border with Colombia.

Travel to the region “carries significant risks due to the presence of organised crime linked to the production and trafficking of drugs”.

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