The Ecuadorian Organized Crime Observatory (OECO) is an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) whose objective is to analyze the illegal dynamics corresponding to the different expressions of transnational organized crime and related factors in Ecuador.
On March 23, 2023, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) held an event to launch the OECO and present its website, which includes a library of recent studies and statistical data on organized crime in Ecuador. Representatives from participating organizations attended the event, including the National Police, the Judicial Council, the Prosecutor’s Office, and the media.
Through a capacity-building project of the Ecuadorian judicial sector to “Combat Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking” (CTOC), the observatory was created to:
OECO started with three publications focused on understanding the judicial system’s response to complex crimes such as asset laundering and organized crime. In the coming weeks, OECO will publish a characterization study of organized crime in Ecuador based on the implementation of the value chains methodology it developed, which seeks to break down criminal activities and the portfolios that generate illicit profits in Ecuador. Through the end of the year, the observatory will analyze sentences for other crimes such the trafficking of drugs and hydrocarbons in Ecuador.
OECO aims to become a benchmark for the analysis of organized crime and a platform for criminal policy recommendations in Ecuador. Through the vision of observation to action, the initiative will seek to generate intelligent technical assistance based on statistics and scientific evidence. Taking the good practices generated from this first observatory undertaken by PADF, it is hoped that this initiative will be replicated in other peace, justice, and security programs throughout the hemisphere.
OECO was conceived as the first observatory related to organized crime in Ecuador. It will focus on the generation of analysis and public policy recommendations to reduce impunity related to organized crime and improve the national judicial system’s capacity to respond.
Published on March 31, 2023.
Country Director for Ecuador