China gives 10,000 AK-47 rifles for lefties, Ecuador decides to keep using them

Ecuador’s new Defense Minister Fernando Donoso said June 10 that his government decided not to scrap 10,000 assault rifles donated by China in 2016, which allegedly had technical problems.

Ecuadorian Defense Minister Donoso told the country’s Ecuavisa channel that authorities are abandoning plans to scrap 10,000 AK-47 rifles donated by China, AFP reported from Quito on June 11.

The rifles were delivered during the administration of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017). Donoso, now the new defense minister, said that we “set aside the decision or opinion to scrap these guns, as stated at a particular time.”

Last April, during the administration of former Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, the rifles were offered to be scrapped for disposal, arguing that there were technical problems with the weapons.

Oswaldo Jarrín, then defense minister, said, “The AK-47 rifles have faulty triggers, they don’t have the appropriate safety devices and most of them are only suitable for left-handed people.”

Ecuador’s new president Guillermo Lasso, who took office on May 24 this year, abandoned the previous government’s decision to intend to scrap the guns.

His new defense minister Donoso added on Thursday that the weapons would be used for “basic training in military schools and troop training centers for personnel who are just starting their work.

After the announcement of Ecuador’s decision to abandon the scrapping of the Chinese weapons, the authorities in Quito proposed a dialogue to Beijing to determine the fate of the weapons through mutual consultation.

Donoso met with Chinese Ambassador to Ecuador Chen Guoyou this Tuesday. According to the Ecuadorian Defense Ministry on its Twitter account, the issues discussed by the two sides included finding a use for such weaponry.

Defense Minister Donoso said the rifles “have been distributed among the troops so that they can be used correctly in the army, navy and aviation.