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Presidential Candidate Assassinated During a Rally in Ecuador

Ecuador Running mate to Villavicencio steps up

Guillermo Lasso, the president of Ecuador, has reported that Fernando Villavicencio, a presidential candidate, was shot and killed by an unidentified assailant while attending a political rally in Quito.

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Fernando Villavicencio was known for calling out cartels and speaking against corruption in the country. His assassination comes less than two weeks before the planned presidential elections on August 20. Though not a front-runner, Mr. Villavicencio was among eight presidential candidates in the country’s upcoming elections.

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The current president has condemned the incident blaming the presidential candidate’s assassination on organized crime. President Lasso has promised to track down the candidate’s assassins and bring them to justice.

I assure you that this crime will not go unpunished. Organized crime has gone too far, but they will feel the full weight of the law.

President Guillermo Lasso said in a statement.

According to Ecuador’s attorney general’s office, six suspects were seized after police searches in Quito, and one suspect succumbed in jail from injuries incurred in an altercation that occurred after the murder. It is reported that Mr. Villavicencio had earlier received death threats and he had also acknowledged that his candidacy was a threat to certain groups of people.

Presidential Candidate Assassinated during a rally in Ecuador
Emergency Responders at the Scene Where Mr. Villavicencio was Shot. Photo: JUAN DIEGO MONTENEGRO

The 59-year-old politician was the Build Ecuador Movement’s candidate for the presidency. His supporters told local media that they were hopeful that he would be the candidate who would eradicate violence and gangs from the country. As competing gangs fight for power and attract kids, gunfire is always heard in many large cities in Ecuador. The port city of Manta’s mayor was recently shot and killed in an incident. 

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Social media videos of the rally seem to show Villavicencio leaving the gathering while being escorted by security. The candidate is then seen going into a white pickup truck before gunshots, screaming, and commotion can be heard in the background.

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