QUITO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's National Assembly (unicameral Congress) on Tuesday approved the Private Security and Surveillance Law to help bolster the fight against rising crime in the South American country, the legislative body said.
A plenary session of the assembly passed the law in its second and final debate with 123 votes in favor.
The new law strengthens and regulates the private security and surveillance industry, including surveillance services for protecting individuals, personal property and assets.
Similarly, it allows for the training of security guards and licenses to carry weapons, and provides regulations to protect and guarantee the rights of workers in the private security field.
Assemblyman Xavier Jurado, from the Assembly's Sovereignty and Comprehensive Security Commission, argued that the law promotes the fundamental rights to life, work and security.
"One of its purposes is to guarantee the regulation of the sector and its coordination with government entities, to contribute to comprehensive security," he said in a statement released by the assembly.
The law also clearly determines the restrictions and penalties applicable to security guards.
Prior to passing the initiative, lawmakers heard from representatives of private security providers, who highlighted the need for a law that regulates the industry for the benefit of public safety.
"The existing regulation has become a tool for job insecurity," said Diego Arroyo, vice president of Ecuador's Federation of Private Security Workers.
The law comes amid a rise in crime in Ecuador, which has a rate of 40 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, making it the most violent country in the region.
Rampant crime erupted in 2021 with increasing robberies, assaults, extortion, kidnapping and other crimes, which the government blamed on organized crime linked to drug trafficking.
Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa, who assumed power on Nov. 23, pledged to take a tough stance on crime and, in one of his first measures as president, appointed new top commanders of the National Police and the Armed Forces. ■