Ecuador Battles Violence in Sports

‘No Sports Violence in Guayaquil’ is the name of a new campaign that hopes to eradicate violence in football and in the stadiums, after a confrontation on November 4 between fans of Barcelona and Emelec (both professional football teams and participants in the “Shipyard Derby“), left George Murillo León, age 20, dead.

Both national and international media covered the clash. In its online edition, El Universo [es] gave details of the incident: “A gunshot to the forehead, with an exit wound in the back of his head, purportedly by an Emelec fan, produced irreversible brain damage according to a source at the Luis Vernaza Hospital, where he was taken around 11:30.”

Fox Sports [es] also wrote about it on their webpage, recalling that “this is the second death in recent years from football violence in Ecuador, the previous one being Carlos Cedeño, a 12 year old boy who died after being hit by a flare in 2007.”

Representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Sports, Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF in Spanish), the National Assembly, and the Emelec and Barcelona sports clubs are working to counteract the acts of violence perpetrated by fans and supporters of football teams in the first division. After having reached an agreement, the parties published the “Ten Commandments Against Violence in Football” [es] on the Ministry of the Interior's webpage.

Hinchas del Barcelona

Barcelona fans, photo by José Luis Merizalde Alcívar on Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

[Translator's note: all Twitter links are in Spanish]

On social media, using the tag #NoMasViolencia, people across the country showed their concern about sports violence.

Football fans, like @michael_cse and @Sandtolo, reject the aggression and violence:

@michael_cse: Por pasión al equipo no solo matas a un ciudadano MATAS A UNA FAMILIA y enlutas al país #NoMasViolencia #HagamosLaDiferencia..

@michael_cse: For love of the team, you didn't only kill a citizen, you KILLED A FAMILY and plunged the country into mourning

@Sandtolo: Yo repudio la violencia en todas sus formas, la violencia sólo viene del despotismo y el egocentrismo :) #nomasviolencia

@Sandtolo: I condemn violence in all forms, violence only comes from despotism and egocentrism

In the same vein, Twitter user @ANDRESL9 says:

@ANDRESL9: El futbol es una fiesta que debemos vivirla en Paz. #nomasviolencia en los estadios. Denuncia a los violentos

@ANDRESL9: Football is fun we should enjoy in peace. #nomasviolencia [no more violence] in the stadiums. Denounce violent people

Rafael Correa, the President of Ecuador (@MashiRafael), also commented about the incident on his Twitter account:

@MashiRafael:…fútbol y la muerte del hincha amarillo George Murillo. Semana intensa para consensuar candidatura a proclamarse en convención…

@MashiRafael: Football and the death of Barcelona fan George Murillo. Intense week to get consensus on the candidacy to announce at the convention

Hinchas de Emelec

Emelec fans, photo by Eduardo Ochoa Gutiérrez on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Officials and the public hope that the new ideas like “No sports violence in Guayaquil” will reach schools, outlying areas, and even hospitals and mobile clinics, since football is one of the few sports that moves the masses in the whole country, especially in cities like Quito and Guayaquil.

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