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Ecuador Police

One reason we like Ecuador is that there is no hassle with the Ecuador police.


We have never seen corruption with the Ecuador police.

Previously we lived in the Dominican Republic and we were continually stopped and fined… for nothing.   Usually the fine was 50 cents (this was a long time ago)…. but what a hassle….sometimes the fine was $10 or so.

This does not happen in Ecuador… no hassle at immigration… no hassle in traffic… no hassle with the Ecuador police.

A reader recently send this note.  Gary,  Thought you would like to put this in your newsletters.  I am so impressed with this article at the BBC site which said:   Ecuador police to take lie detector test.

Police officers in Ecuador will be made to take lie detector tests in an effort to root out corruption in the force, the country’s police chief has said.

Gen Wilson Alulema said he wanted all 42,000 officers to take the test.

Under new anti-corruption efforts, officers will also have to declare their assets so investigators can spot illicit payments more easily.

He also announced that incentives would be offered to officers who denounce corrupt colleagues.

There are many misconceptions about the Ecuador police and corruption. One reader wrote:   Dear Gary, I have subscribed to your newsletter some time ago and have been reading faithfully, as I find it extremely informative. But I don`t remember seeing any reference to the corruption problem in Ecuador. Yet, Ecuador is, barely after Venezuela, the most corrupt country in Latin America according to Transparency International.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

Would you care to comment on that issue?  Thanks in advance.

Here is my reply about corruption and the Ecuador police:

We just never seen corruption at the level where our readers are involved.  In big deals perhaps.  Like everywhere… but in 15 years, after sending thousands of readers to Ecuador, I have not had one report of corruption from a reader.

Plus we have had a number of stories like the one below from a reader who left her bag in the business center at the Quito Radisson Hotel.  It was stolen from the room.  Weeks later she wrote:

“Dear Gary, can you believe, the Quito police, working with the Radisson Hotel, found my  briefcase with the computer and other small items and sent them to me by Federal Express.   I had provided them with the receipts of all the items stolen. I was reimbursed via bank transfer for the items they were not able to send me (camera and cellular phone).   I still can’t believe it .  This was such a good ending and so unexpected.  I send you all love, and good thoughts.”


We have found the police more friendly and less aggressive than in the US.

Here is another quote from a reader who was a guest at our hotel Meson de las Flores.  He shared an insight about the Cotacachi police that gives a feel of how these law enforcement officers work with what he called “insistent persuasion”.   He wrote:

“Gary, I want to express my appreciation for your gracious hospitality on a recent stay at El Meson de los Flores. It was a relaxing three days.

There was an incident on the street outside the hotel that might interest you. I was awakened one night by a ruckus on the street. Loud enough to prevent drifting off again I picked up my flashlight to check the time, 2:00 am. It sounded like several men were having an extra good time laughing and talking loudly.

A few minutes later I heard a vehicle approach and red light flashed around the bedroom walls.

I went to the window.

There was a pickup parked on the otherwise empty two lane street headed from my right to left (on the far side of the street to the hotel) opposite my window. The four door police pickup truck with three policemen stopped abreast the first pickup (close to the hotel) only a half vehicle length ahead of the first pickup.

One policeman exited the police truck’s left side standing under my window against the hotel wall watching the action holding a short barreled shotgun at ready.

The other two policemen mixed it up with four clearly smashed Ecuadorians in the middle of the street between the two vehicles. I witnessed the arrest progress.

The uproar increased (three more voices). Shortly the racket lessened. Then three men got into the police truck with two policemen. The third policeman got into the driver’s seat of the first pickup with one arrested in the passenger’s seat and both vehicles drove off stage left.

I crawled into bed marveling that there had not been a show of force, only insistent persuasion. No swinging night sticks, sitting on the curb or face down on the street, handcuffs, rough shoving or body searches even in the face of resistance. Only patient urging with shotgun backup. Might this incident reflect favorably on the Ecuadorian temperament?

See more at Cotacachi Police


Over 15 years, we have had only good experience with the Ecuador police.

Perhaps there is corruption in high places. Perhaps this affects everyone in Ecuador due to poorly allocated government spending, etc… but I think that happens in many countries.  Our experience at the day to day level it that Ecuador corruption is a non event… something like in the US.


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Read entire BBC article on Ecuador police corruption

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