Presidential candidate Villavicencio killed in Ecuador

Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was killed shortly before the elections in Ecuador.

Unknown people fired on the 59-year-old when he got into a car on Wednesday (local time), local media reported. “I am outraged and shocked by the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. My solidarity and condolences go out to his wife and daughters,” President Guillermo Lasso wrote on Twitter. “This crime will not go unpunished.” The head of state convened the National Security Council. “Organized crime has gone too far. It will be punished with the full force of the law,” Lasso wrote.

Villavicencio criticized corruption in Ecuador

Villavicencio ran for the highest office in the South American country as a candidate for the Construye (Construction) movement and, according to the latest polls, was in fourth or fifth place. As a journalist and member of parliament, he had repeatedly criticized the widespread corruption in Ecuador.

Early presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in Ecuador on August 20th. These had become necessary after President Lasso dissolved the National Assembly in the midst of impeachment proceedings against him for alleged embezzlement.

Ecuador is in a serious political crisis. The approval ratings for government and parliament are very low. The once peaceful country is also currently suffering from a wave of violence. The homicide rate of 25 homicides per 100,000 people last year was the highest in the country’s history, even exceeding those of Mexico and Brazil. The government blames drug dealers for the violence.



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