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Ecuador's president sends package of penal reforms to lawmakers

Bnamericas

Ecuadoran President Daniel Noboa sent a package of reforms to the national assembly aimed at implementing the results of the referendum held on April 21.

The reforms involve several aspects of the penal code and the asset forfeiture law, according to the documents sent to lawmakers on Monday evening.

In the referendum, Ecuadoran voters supported nine of Noboa's proposals on security and crime issues and rejected two economic issues on international arbitration in investment disputes and hourly work contracts.

The nine questions on security were well backed, with between 60% and 72% of voters supporting them.

The reforms sent to the legislature include increased penalties for the crimes of terrorism, illicit drug production and trafficking, organized crime, contract killings, human trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, arms trafficking, money laundering and illegal mining activities.

They would also ensure that the sentences for these crimes are served in domestic prisons, establishing as a crime the carrying of weapons or ammunition reserved for the exclusive use of law enforcement forces and enabling the State to become the owner of property of illicit origin.

The legislature has 60 days to process and approve the reforms, which are intended to provide the authorities with greater tools to tackle the wave of crime and violence by local gangs and drug trafficking cartels with international links.

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