Ecuador is the Latin American country with the highest security progress since 2009, according to a study by the private polling firm Gallup.
The Andes news agency reports that these results are consistent with official statistics that show a decrease in crimes in recent years. According to the Organization of American States and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the murder rate in Ecuador has significantly decreased (12 per 100,000 in 2012 versus 18 per 100,000 in 2008) and is nearly half the regional average of 22 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Ecuador ranked fourth among the top five Latin American countries with the highest security rate in 2013. In Gallup’s Law and Order Index for Security in Latin America—which includes 21 countries—Ecuador obtained 63 points out of 100, which represents 14 points of improvement from previous years. Nicaragua, Panamá, and Chile lead the region followed by Ecuador and Uruguay.
According to the Gallup report, President Rafael Correa attributes his administration’s success in fighting crime to improving arms control, increasing the judiciary’s independence, and campaigns reinforcing efforts to capture the country’s most dangerous criminals. In 2011, President Correa promoted a referendum aimed to implement public safety and the administration of justice.
During the current administration, Ecuador has invested more than 2.5 billion dollars in security. In 2014, Ecuador has committed $539 millions that will help improve and sustain these efforts. These investments translated into police training and better equipment for the armed forces, including planes, helicopters, and submarine refurbishment.
The study’s results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each country, aged 15 and older. It was conducted in 2009 and 2013 and has a 95% of reliability.