Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa.

Ecuador’s grave security crisis could prove pivotal for the future of the country’s democracy. Similar crises across Latin American have created the temptation to toss out democracy as the cost of regaining security, as has been on most prominent display in El Salvador. For Ecuador, the stakes for could not be higher.

A soldier walks past residents in Ecuador.

Last week, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa formally declared that the country is in a state of “internal armed conflict” against criminal gangs. But Ecuador’s security crisis is not internal at all. Regional and global trends have directly contributed to causing it, and its impact also extends beyond the country’s borders.


Competition over maritime resources and territorial disputes over maritime borders highlight the tensions between national sovereignty and transnational challenges in the maritime domain. While often ignored in coverage of international affairs, it features prominently in bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy.