UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Cuerpo de Infantería de Marina (Naval Infantry Corps)

The Cuerpo de Infantería de Marina (Naval Infantry Corps) of about 1,500 personnel as of 2010 (some sources suggest 1,700) are organized in four battalions, each containing amphibious warfare, coastal defence, local security and special forces elements. They are based at: Guayaquil (HQ), Esmeraldas (1st Battalion), Jaramijo (2nd Battalion), San Eduardo (3rd Battalion) and Jambeli (4th Battalion). Although the navy maintains a small base at Puerto Baquerizo Movea on San Cristobal and administers the Galapagos Islands they form a demilitarised zone by international agreement.

Directly subordinate to the naval operations staff, the marines had their headquarters at Guayaquil and in 1989 were organized into three battalions, consisting of a commando group, a security force, and a support group, based at Guayaquil, in the Galápagos, and in the Oriente. In addition to small arms, the marines were armed with 81mm mortars and 106mm recoilless rifles.

The marines, whose motto is Vencer o morir (Conquer or die!) conducted amphibious operations, maintained security of naval bases and detachments, and protected the Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline terminal and shipping point at Esmeraldas. Tactical and operational doctrines are primarily those of the USMC but with some Brazilian input as regards riverine warfare doctrines. Most training takes place in the Guayaquil/Salinas area. The marines operate with the many, suitable Coast Guard craft.

The marines operated their own instructional program, including a basic school for recruits and more advanced courses in amphibious operations, communications, intelligence, and weaponry, plus special courses in frogman and paratroop skills. The navy also administered the Merchant Marine School, whose cadets received some military training and formed part of the naval reserve after graduation as merchant marine officers.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list