Photo: Juan Hernández/ICRC

Ecuador: Senior police and army officers receive training on the use of force

Article 05 October 2023 Ecuador

In response to the recent uptick in violence in Ecuador, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) gave a workshop to senior army officers on the legal use of force on 27 September in Quito.

It was an opportunity to learn lessons and share experiences, and was opened by the cabinet subsecretary of the Ministry for National Defence General Washington Buñay Guevara.

The workshop was attended by generals and colonels in Ecuador's armed forces and took place in the wake of a series of violent acts, including the murder of a presidential candidate in the run up to the election in August.

Two of the issues covered were the participation of armed forces in armed conflict and other violence and the national and international rules governing the use of force. The workshop was also an opportunity to continue dialogue on the use of force by military personnel in relation to people's human rights.

The following day, on 28 and 29 September, the 5th seminar on good operational practices for upholding human rights took place for senior officers in Ecuador's police force.

The event brought together 50 colonels and lieutenant-colonels in charge of provinces to assess and discuss the consequences in humanitarian terms of the armed violence in the country and the operational challenges they face to tackle it, and to become better acquainted with the most recent rules and jurisprudence governing the issue. In addition, the officers discussed how to coordinate operations with the armed forces and in what exceptional circumstances the police might use firearms.

The ICRC promotes respect for international humanitarian law and other basic principles and norms governing the protection of people facing violence. Moreover, we share our recommendations with governments to help them ensure their domestic legislation is consistent with such norms and principles.