Ecuadorian authorities sent over 400 troops to patrol the streets of Guayaquil in late June as a measure to combat street crime. Soldiers were deployed to the south, center, and northeastern portions of the city, which are considered high risk by local police. Authorities have directed military forces to accompany local police as a means to prevent crime and restore faith in the government's security forces in the Guayaquil area.
Much of the country suffers from high crime rates despite significant falls in reported cases of violent crime over the past few years. The main criminal risk to visitors is now theft (muggings and pickpocketing). Thieves tend to operate in tourist areas, outdoor markets, public parks, and on public transportation. Pickpockets and bag snatchers are not usually violent but some may be armed.
Individuals in Guayaquil are advised to remain vigilant due to the potential for violence, and to stay informed of police activity in the area.