Presidential candidate shot dead in Ecuador in state of emergency


By John

The candidate in the presidential elections in Ecuador Fernando Villavicencio was shot dead at the end of an election campaign rally. The outgoing president, Guillermo Lasso, declared the state of emergency in the country.

Villavicencio, candidate of the governing majority in the upcoming presidential elections of Ecuador, 59 years old, journalist and politician, it was Lasso’s dolphin. He was shot several times as he was leaving a school in the capital where a political rally was taking place. The news of his death was confirmed a few minutes after the attack from the Clinica de la Mujer where he had been rushed.

Six people have been arrested during the raids carried out in the areas of Conocoto and San Bartolo, in Quito. One of the men suspected of killing the presidential candidate died after a firefight with security agents, prosecutors said on social media. The prosecution added that the institute of forensic medicine proceeded with the collection of Villavicencio’s body from the hospital and transferred it to carry out the autopsy. Following the attack, they remained nine people were also injured who were at the site where the demonstration was taking place, including a parliamentary candidate and two police officers. No further information on the perpetrators of the attack has been released so far.

Presidential elections will be held on August 20 in the context of a serious security crisis caused by the increasingly strong presence of drug cartels in the country. Villavicencio himself had reported, in the days preceding the attack, that he had received concrete threats from a narco leader named José Adolfo Macías Villamar, alias “Fito”. The outgoing government of President Guillermo Lasso has so far tried to manage the serious situation with a massive deployment of soldiers and with extraordinary public order measures aimed at some provinces, but without concrete results.

President Lasso: “This crime will not go unpunished”

“I am outraged and shocked by the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio,” wrote Lasso on Twitter, who urgently convened the Security Cabinet. “My sympathy and condolences to his wife and daughters. Out of respect for his memory and his battles, I assure you that this crime will not go unpunished. Organized crime has gone too far, but everything will fall on them the weight of the law”.

The unanimous condemnation of the murder

The murder of Fernando Villavicencio, shook the entire political spectrum of the country, and the condemnation of the attack was unanimous even on the part of the victim’s opponents in the presidential race. The absolute favorite of the polls, Luisa Gonzalezcandidate of the former president’s party Rafael Correa, expressed his “indignation” by stating that Villavicencio’s death “is mourning for everyone”. Likewise the candidate of the indigenous movement Pachakutik, Yaku Perez, running for the ballot, expressed his condolences and said that “Ecuador deserves no more deaths”. “It’s time to unite and recover the peace,” she said. The centre-right independent candidate, Otto Sonnenholznercondemned the attack arguing that “the country has gotten out of hand” from the government