Author Topic: Ecuador security system part of China's Latin America expansion  (Read 1780 times)

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Offline mayya

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Ecuador security system part of China's Latin America expansion
  • 2014-10-24
  • 15:48 (GMT+8)

The ECU 911 command center. (Internet photo)

To expand its influence in Latin America, China has decided to assist Ecuador in establishing an integrated security service called ECU 911 to protect and maintain social order in the country, according to the People's Daily a newspaper operated by the Communist Party of China.
InSight Crime, a non-profit investigative journalism website specializing in organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, reported two years ago that Ecuador would receive a loan of US$240 million from China to set up the project. Two of the 16 points constructed throughout the entire nation were in operation already by the end of 2012. Others were activated by the end of 2013 according to the website.

Under the program, 3,000 surveillance cameras were installed in various parts of the country. New electronic surveillance systems were established on the border to alert Ecuadorian authorities if anyone crossing has an international arrest warrant against them, according to security minister Homero Arellano. With this new security service, it takes only between five and ten minutes for the police, fire fighters and medical personnel to respond an emergency, according to the state-run Chinese paper.

Since the establishment of ECU 911 in 2012, 8,000 lives have been saved and a total number of 34 million cases handled. Wang Fei, the representative of China National Electronics Import & Expo Corporation in Ecuador said that ECU 911 provides a security net for the nation with its population of over 15 million. President Rafael Correa personally thanked China for bringing its most advanced technology to the nation, Wang said.

Wang told the People's Daily that the success of ECU 911 has attracted attention from other nations in Latin America as well. Venezuela and Bolivia signed similar contracts with China in 2013 and 2014 to introduce the integrated security service.

Richard Weitz, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, said that China had previously been reluctant to deploy its military and security systems abroad to avoid confrontation with the United States in the region.

Weitz said that China has no notable domestic drug market that is being fed by Latin American gangs, but the country is demonstrating its growing interest in expanding its influence in the Americas. While Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela are purchasing aircraft and radar antennae from China, officials from Brazil and Colombia are being sent to Beijing to receive training from the People's Liberation Army.

Wang Fei 汪飛