QUITO, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso on Wednesday called on the international community to contribute to the fight against drug trafficking, which he blamed for a spike in crime and violence.
"Transnational crime requires a transnational solution," Lasso told the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, urging unity to defeat the scourge.
"We have two options: either we suffer separately from an enemy that acts in coordination within several countries, mocking our laws, or we unite to defeat it," he said.
"Today we are increasing like never before our measures to maximize narcotics seizures and dismantle the transnational gangs that transport it," Lasso stressed.
According to the 2022 World Drug Report issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ecuador had the third largest cocaine seizures in the world in 2020, behind Colombia and the United States.
Amid a wave of violence in the port city of Guayaquil, which the police attribute to organized crime and delinquency, Lasso said Ecuador "deserves international support in our fight against drug trafficking," as well as support to strengthen judicial institutions.
It is estimated that transnational crime generates between 1.6 and 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars a year, "dozens of times the economy of a country like Ecuador," Lasso said. ■