Conflict and crime in Colombia spread into Ecuador

Americas Now

Drug trafficking and violence, two long-term problems for Colombia, have crossed into Ecuador. And the casualties include murdered journalists.

The escalation of lawlessness on Ecuador’s northern border is linked to resistance to Colombia’s peace process. That process was supposed to bring stability to the northern Andes. Instead, death and drug-smuggling are spiking.

It’s a shock to Ecuador, a country long considered an oasis of calm in South America. Correspondent Toby Muse traveled to the region to report on what’s behind the increase in crime.

Ecuador has a history of violence at another one of its borders. The one with Peru. In 1995, a territorial dispute erupted between the neighbors leading to a military conflict. It took Peru and Ecuador three years to reach an agreement. And in October 1998, they signed a peace treaty.