Honorary UK consul is kidnapped in Ecuador, police say

Honorary UK consul is kidnapped in Ecuador, police say
Honorary UK consul is kidnapped in Ecuador, police say

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - This undated and unlocated handout photo obtained on December 16, 2023 from Agripac page shows UK’s honorary consul Colin Armstrong. Colin Armstrong, the UK’s honorary consul in the port city of Guayaquil, was kidnapped in the south-western province of Los Rios amid a growing wave of violence linked to drug trafficking, police said yesterday. — Picture via Facebook/Agripac/AFP

QUITO, Dec 17 — Britain’s honorary consul in the Ecuadoran port city of Guayaquil has been kidnapped, police said yesterday.

The abduction of Colin Armstrong comes amid a sharp rise in drug-related violence in parts of Ecuador.

Local media said Armstrong was kidnapped at dawn on a farm he owns in Baba, a small city in Los Rios province. There were no immediate details about his captors.


A message from the police on X, the former Twitter, said officers were carrying out “operational and investigative work” in connection with the case.

Neither the British embassy in Quito nor the Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry issued any immediate comment.

Honorary consuls are generally not career officials but are often nationals of the sending country living in cities distant from the capital; they frequently conduct some consular duties on a part-time basis while also holding a job of their own.


In recent years, Ecuador — situated between world-leading cocaine producers Colombia and Peru — has become a centre for foreign and domestic drug cartels blamed for a series of massacres, kidnappings and extortions.

Gangs now control some prisons, and violence in the streets has surged. Since 2018, the national homicide rate has more than quadrupled, soaring from six to 26 per 100,000 inhabitants.

President Daniel Noboa, a Guayaquil native who took office in late November, has promised to crack down on drug traffickers.

His election followed a violence-marred campaign season in which eight politicians, including a mayor, were killed.

As a large port city, Guayaquil has become a centre for the cartels exporting drugs both to the United States and Europe. — AFP

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