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Ecuador has detailed counterterrorism legislation in force in its criminal code. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. Provisions apply generally in peacetime and there is also a specific prohibition of terrorizing the civilian population in a situation of armed conflict.  

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorism is defined and criminalized in Ecuador's criminal code as follows:

The person who, individually or through armed groups, provokes or keeps the population or a part of it in a state of terror, through acts that endanger life, physical integrity or freedom of expression, or endanger buildings, means of communication, or transportation, using means capable of causing havoc.Art. 366, Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador.

A specific crime of terrorizing the civilian population in an armed conflict ("Attack on a protected person for terrorist purposes") is also set forth in the criminal code, in accordance with international humanitarian law:  

The person who, on occasion and in development of an armed conflict, carries out any form of attack on a protected person for the purpose of terrorizing the civilian population will be sanctioned with a prison sentence of ten to thirteen years.Art. 126, Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador.

The reference to a protected person could be construed as to limit the scope of application of the law to a situation of international armed conflict.

Membership of a terrorist group

There is a specific criminalization of leadership of or participation in a terrorist group. Thus it is stipulated that:

Subversive groups. The person who promotes, directs or participates in armed organizations, commandos, combat groups, or terrorist groups or cells, which are designed to subvert the public order, replace the armed forces and national police, attack them or interfere with their normal performance, will be sanctioned by a prison of five to seven years.Art. 349, Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador.

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties

Ecuador is a State Party to most of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State not party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention Signatory


Ecuador is also a State Party to the main regional treaty on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
2002 Inter-American Convention against Terrorism State Party

In adhering to the 2002 Convention, Ecuador expressed its deep regret that the member states have not been able to reach a consensus on the definition of terrorism and its classification as an international crime against humanity.

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

Article 366 of the Criminal Code lays down a general penalty of a term of imprisonment of between ten and thirteen years for acts of terrorism. This is especially the case if the act or acts in question concern objects or individuals protected under international treaties. 

Punished acts include the following: false alarms about the security of transportation on land, at sea, or in the air; burglarizing the official premises, private residence or means of transport of internationally protected persons; and economic transactions that support the activities of terrorists.Art. 366(4), (5), and (6), Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador.

Where terrorist acts result in death, the penalty is twenty to twenty-six years in prison.Art. 366(10), Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador. 

Financing terrorist acts is punishable with six years to ten years in prison.Art. 367, Comprehensive Criminal Code of Ecuador.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The National Police of Ecuador (Policía Nacional del Ecuador) is the national police force and the country's main civilian law enforcement agency. Personnel have been trained in counterterrorism operations.


Ecuador Penal Code (original text as of 2021)

2021 Article on Terrorism Law in Ecuador (Spanish original)