Constitutional Court of Ecuador Annuls Again State of Emergency Decreed by President Daniel Noboa

The Constitutional Court of Ecuador annulled the last state of emergency decreed by President Daniel Noboa, who called it the “second phase of the war” that has declared organized crime gangs.

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The highest court of guarantees of Ecuador declared unconstitutional with the vote of the majority of its members decree 275 declaring a state of emergency in seven of the twenty-four provinces of the country, as well as in a municipality of an eighth province, under the justification of the existence of an “internal armed conflict”.

The latter state of emergency was intended to replace an earlier state of emergency that covered five provinces and had also been overturned by the Constitutional Court. The new declaration suspended the right to inviolability of the home in the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena, El Oro, Manabí, Sucumbíos, Orellana and Los Ríos, and in the municipality of Camilo Ponce Enríquez, in the province of Azuay.

Corte de Ecuador declara inconstitucional estado de excepción por conflicto interno armado

La Corte Constitucional de Ecuador, por mayoría de votos y con la disidencia de la jueza Carmen Corral, declaró inconstitucional el Decreto Ejecutivo 275, el cual establecía el estado. pic.twitter.com/g4zh1Cm4Nm

— FACSO UG (@facsoug) June 15, 2024

In both cases, the court found that “the facts mentioned in the decree do not specifically constitute the cause of internal armed conflict,” according to the ruling issued on Friday. The magistrates emphasized that, for the most recent decree, the argument of the internal armed conflict “was the only (reason) invoked by the President of the Republic”.

“It should be recalled that, given its important legal implications, both the settled jurisprudence of this Court and international law, have established that in order for the cause of internal armed conflict to be established, two parameters must be considered that address the gravity of the situation of violence,” the Court said.

The last two resolutions of the Constitutional Court contrast with his ruling on the first state of emergency decreed by Noboa at the beginning of the year and which lasted ninety days, where the court stated that it was not for him to evaluate the existence or not of a “internal armed conflict” since it is a factual fact.

Organized crime gangs, mainly dedicated to drug trafficking, are credited with the wave of violence that plagues Ecuador and has led it to be among the first countries in Latin America with more homicides, with a rate of about 47 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2023, according to the Ecuadorian Observatory of Organized Crime (OECS).