Published On: Wed, Feb 28th, 2024

Ecuador: Inside the ‘no-go’ city transformed into tourist hotspot in just 26 days | World | News

The once-no-go city of Esmeraldas in Ecuador has rapidly transformed into a bustling tourist hotspot in just 26 days.

The streets, once eerily quiet due to a raging drug war, are now alive with the sounds of Latin music and the chatter of tourists enjoying summertime and carnival festivities.

A few weeks back, Esmeraldas was in the grips of violence, making it one of the most dangerous cities globally.

Drug gangs and cartel leaders wreaked havoc after the escape of Adolfo “Fito” Macias.

The situation prompted President Daniel Noboa to launch a nationwide crackdown on criminal activities.

In a bold move, President Noboa reached out to the retired former police chief of Esmeraldas, who promptly returned to Ecuador.

The impact was swift – armed marines patrolling the streets have turned a once-fearful city into a place where people can freely enjoy bars, streets, and beaches.

Javier Buitron, Esmeraldas’ governor, told Sky News: “People didn’t leave their houses; they were scared they would be killed. Now I am happy because they aren’t afraid anymore; they are free, the people are free and are now enjoying this place, in the bars, enjoying the streets, and now enjoying the beach.”

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