In this piece for The Conversation UK, Fabio Diaz, together with María Gabriela Palacio Ludeña from Universiteit Leiden, look at the contradictions of securitisation policies and socio-economic aspects that help explain the latest cycle of violence in Ecuador. Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in economic precariousness, alongside the deepening of neoliberal ideology and the glorification of narco culture. As a result, criminal gangs have been able to recruit marginalised youth more easily. Addressing political economy aspects, such as financial flows linked to illicit trade, is crucial in responding to organised crime at regional and global levels. Moving beyond the idea of violence and focusing on effective state policies and development is also essential. Read the article.