When it seemed that organized crime in Ecuador had shown its worst face with the detonation of car bombs in populated areas, the murder of police officers, those hanged on pedestrian bridges, extortion and kidnappings, this Thursday morning some thieves They attached an explosive charge to the security guard of a pawn shop with which they threatened to blow him up.

Javier works as a guard at a store that mainly stores jewelry in the Sauces 9 sector, north of Guayaquil, the city that in three months has registered 565 violent crimes. The young man was kidnapped by criminals the night before on his way to his house and was dropped off this morning near the place where he works, with explosives taped to his body. He walked disoriented down the street in that densely populated area until the public forces arrived and cordoned off the place.

The surrounding merchants quickly closed the doors, put padlocks on and the busy Sauces IX market, which is a few meters from where the man was, was evacuated. The scene seemed fictional. The police officers helped an explosives expert put on his suit to approach the subject with the bomb. He waits nervously with his forehead on a light pole, told to try not to move and to take off his coat to lessen any chance of heat activating the device. Javier asked for water and to call his family. The television broadcast the dramatic moment live.

Neighbors pray for the man who had been placed an explosive charge in the chest in the streets of Guayaquil, this Thursday.
Neighbors pray for the man who had been placed an explosive charge in the chest in the streets of Guayaquil, this Thursday.
Cesar Munoz (AP)

The bomb guard approached him and handed him a radio. He checked the rest of his body. The device had an extension strapped to his left leg and a cell phone attached to his chest, which the criminals told him would detonate the explosive by making a call to that phone. There were three tense hours until the police managed to free Javier from the device, before the eyes of the inhabitants of the sector. Some were crying. “I’ve never seen anything like this, a boy with explosives on his body,” says Melba, a woman who witnessed the events. “All limits have been crossed,” finished off another woman named Lucía.

The authorities have not provided further information on the reasons for this macabre event. Preliminary data shows that it would be an attempted robbery at the premises. The thieves knew that Javier kept the keys to the safe. However, it could not be carried out because other codes were needed that were in the hands of another employee.

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With this fact are the 40 alerts with explosives that have been registered in Guayaquil so far this year, says William Villarroel, police commander of the most violent city in the country. Ecuador is going through a crisis of insecurity that cannot be controlled by the Government of Guillermo Lasso, which has its political battle, with the impeachment to which it will be submitted in the coming days in the Legislature.

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By Chavez

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