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The shocking murder
Days before the big day
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Latin America was shocked last Wednesday, August 9th. Presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, was shot in central Quito outside a school. This happened after concluding a voting meeting. He would later die of his injuries. His murder comes just before the elections in Ecuador that will be upheld on August 20th.
Other people resulted wounded in the attack. Among them were a candidate to assemblyowman, and two police officers.
Villavicencio had received death threats in past days. He moved throug the country with police protection. He was a legislator that had a voting intention of 7.5%, holding an intermediate position in polls. An increasing number of citizens wanted to vote him. He was a vocal critic of Rafael Correa. He also got 18 months in prison on difamation charges for statements against the former President. He was also criticised by opposition members for obstructing an impeachment process against President Lasso, which led to forwarding elections. Villavicencio was one of the most critical on crime and state corruption.
Authorities also investigated the possibility of an explosive being placed in the place where he was killed. Six suspects were arrested. The murder suspect would later be killed in a shootout with authorities.
Source: The Bunker Zone
Fernando’s sister, Patricia, blamed the government of Lasso for his murder.
“They didn’t want him to uncover corruption. I curse this government. It did nothing. It did nothing to protect him. It is a plot”,
Upon receiving news, President Guillermo Lasso declared emergency states, which will last sixty days. He had a meeting with his security cabinet right afterwards. He added that elections won’t be suspended, but the military will be deployed through all the country as a measure. He promised there would be no impunity, and declared a 3 day mourning.
Hours after the murder, the Construye movement dennounced that its camaping headquarters in Quito were attacked.
Source: Global Nexus News
His murder comes amidst an increasing wave of violence in Ecuador due high crime rate. The country registered on 2022 the highest death rate in all its history. Equatorian government sources mention that 25.32 people fell victim to organized crime and drug trafficking. He is the first presidential candidate to be murdered in Ecuador. The major of the port city of Manta was killed in a public apparition less than a month ago. The elections have been described as the most violent in history.
Ecuador has recently been facing violence due drug trafficking. International cartels have been joining forces with pandillas and local prisoners. Ecuatorian ports are being used to export cocaine to Europe and North America. This has caused an increase in violence levels. Violent acts are usually public, including car bombs, beheadings, and murder of children in their schools.
Source: Tupi Report
The fight against criminality is one of the main topics in the upcoming elections in Ecuador, which will be upheld on August 20th. Other candidates are environmentalist Yaku Pérez, correist Luisa González, security expert Jan Topic, ex vice president Otto Sonnenholzner, politician Daniel Hervas, entrepeneur Daniel Noboa, independent candidate Bolívar Armijos. Villavicencio was running by the Construye movement. Some of them were suspending their campaings, and condemned the murder. The National Electoral Council (CNE) rejected the violent deeds that “tarnish elections and democracy”.
It may be expected that the violence will increase in Ecuador. The next President will have to hace the challenge of pacifying the country. It will remain to be seen who, and how, faces it.
Guillermo is a journalist, writer and independent international analyst. If you like what you read, please support him by donating:
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