Friday, September 22

At a campaign event, Fernando Villavicencio, the presidential candidate of Ecuador, was assassinated.

The city of Quito, Ecuador is where CNN has put the news.

As violence and crime continue to escalate in Ecuador, a candidate for the country’s future president, Fernando Villavicencio, was assassinated at he campaign event in the capital on Wednesday.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation was called upon by Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso to provide assistance in the aftermath of the violent incident.

On Thursday, he tweeted that the FBI would be arriving in the country within hours.

Villavicencio, who was 59 years old, was fatally shot 10 days before the start of the presidential election while exiting a campaign rally at southwestern school north of Quito.

The attack resulted in injuries to nine individuals, among them a National Assembly candidate and two police officers.

Lasso has vowed to ensure that the perpetrators will be held accountable for their actions, acknowledging that organized crime has advanced significantly but still must face the law.

Lasso has proclaimed a 60-day state of emergency, an immediate mobilization of the military forces nationwide, and three days of national mourning, in addition to requesting the FBI.

On Thursday, Diana Atamaint, the President of the Electoral Council, confirmed that Ecuador’s presidential election would proceed as scheduled on August 20.

AFP/Getty Images: People take cover after gunfire at the end of Villavicencio’s rally in Quito on August 9.

Karen Toro/Reuters: Security forces work at the rally site where Villavicencio was killed on Wednesday.

Villavicencio, a member of the National Assembly, had been vocal about corruption and the violence caused by drug trafficking in the country.

During his speech to CNN En Espaol Conclusiones in May, he claimed that Ecuador had transformed into a “narco state” and proposed to lead an anti-political campaign against the “politician mob.”

Villavicencio was positioned in the middle of the pack of eight contenders in Opinion polls, trailing behind the front-runner Luisa González.

Six individuals have been apprehended and the alleged gunman is dead.

According to a statement on Twitter, the Ecuadorian Attorney General’s Office confirmed that the suspected shooter of Villavicencio died in police custody after an exchange of fire with security personnel.

Juan Zapata, the interior minister, stated that six Colombians who were arrested in connection with the killing are believed to be affiliated with organized criminal organizations. He also mentioned that preliminary evidence indicates their involvement.

During overnight raids, authorities found a rifle, sniper-style machine, four pistols and grenades (including two handguns), two rifle magazines, an ammunition cache, two motorcycles as well as’stolen vehicles’ that the men had used.

The sister of the murdered politician, Patricia Villavicencio, stood with her brother at the rally and held the national government and the Interior Ministry responsible for his death, according to her statement to reporters.

“Where can I find the security personnel?” she inquired.

Zapata stated that Villavicencio had a security team, consisting of five police officers, several patrol cars, and his own armored vehicle, which was not used in the Quito shooting.

According to local media, Zapta stated that police had taken custody of seven out of the eight presidential candidates in Ecuador earlier this week.

Explosions documented on social media.

The video that has been shared on social media appears to show the moment Villavicencio was shot and killed.

At least 12 shots were heard in the footage as Villavicencio walked away from the campaign rally and a group of onlookers gathered around him. A policeman quickly shuts the door behind him and many people, including his security personnel, sought refuge from gunfire.

CNN has sought clarification from the authorities on the matter.

The brutal killing sparked international condemnation. The White House condemned the killing as “shocking,” while John Kirby, the National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, stated that it was not in the best interest of Ecuador’s democracy.

Volker Türk, the UN Human Rights Chief, expressed concern about political violence in the country and called for greater protection for politicians, public officers, and journalists.

The assassination of Fernando Villavicencio was immediately condemned by the remaining presidential candidates in Ecuador, with a few taking their campaigns offline.

Yaku Pérez, an environmental activist, announced on Wednesday that he has suspended his campaign to show solidarity with the family and supporters of the deceased and urges other candidates to display their political flags.

Jan Topic, a businessman, announced on Wednesday that he would be discontinuing his campaign due to respect for the unfortunate death and the safety of his team.

In an interview with Ecuadorian radio on Thursday, Luisa González, the leading candidate for presidency, emphasized her solidarity with Quito and the family of Villavicencio, explaining that any act of violence by them affects everyone.

She stated that she has people who are looking out for her. “I have faith that God is the one taking care of me first.”

González stated that the security level is not a concern. He was instructed to wear reversible vests and use them for self-defense, but it ended up being fatal. The criminals are more skilled than the police officers.

A speech is given by Villavicencio at a campaign event that occurred before he was assassinated.

Increasing instances of violence

The opposition-led congress was dissolved by President Lasso in May, which allowed for early elections. He had previously been impeached before his election due to allegations of embezzlement by local lawmakers, but this accusation has since been denied by the president.

The country has been grappling with a cost-of-living crisis and deteriorating security due to drug trafficking and rival criminal groups, leading to mounting calls for his resignation in recent months.

The Andean nation, previously referred to as the “isla de paz” or peaceful, has experienced some of the highest rates of murder in the area in recent times.

Despite not having a history of producing cocaine or coca, Ecuador is located between the two major narcotics production hubs of the world, Peru and Colombia.

According to security experts, Ecuador has become a crucial link in the profitable cocaine trade from South America to North America and Europe. Additionally, violence has been concentrated on the country’s Pacific coast as criminal organizations work to regulate and distribute illegal drugs.

The country’s overcrowded prisons, which are frequently controlled by criminal gangs and have become increasingly dangerous, have been lost to violence. According to Ecuadorian authorities, security forces have struggled to keep up with these raging robbery tactics, as prisoners often take over penitentiaries and run criminal networks from behind bars. Additionally, many inmates have died in violent prison riots between rival ringleaders.

The mayor of Manta, Agustin Intriago, was shot dead in July while chatting with Ariana Chancay, a young athlete from the same neighborhood.

All the contenders for the Ecuadorian presidency have vowed to curb the increase in violence.

The deteriorating security and economic conditions are causing more Ecuadorians to flee the country, with figures indicating that thousands of them are heading north through the treacherous Darien Gap this year in pursuit of a path to the United States.

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