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Anti-corruption presidential candidate killed in Ecuador campaign event

Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was shot and killed at a political rally in Ecuador, sparking concerns about rising violence and drug trafficking in the country.

An Ecuadorian presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, was shot and killed at a political rally in the capital city of Quito on Wednesday. The assassination occurred amidst a surge of violence in the country, and President Guillermo Lasso has suggested that organized crime was behind the attack. Villavicencio, who was one of eight candidates in the upcoming presidential vote, was known for his outspoken stance against corruption. Lasso has vowed that the perpetrators will face justice and emphasized that organized crime has gone too far. The Ecuadorian attorney general's office has reported that a suspect in the assassination died of wounds after being arrested.

Ecuador has been grappling with a rise in violent killings and drug trafficking, which has led to a state of unrest in the country. The killing of Villavicencio has further intensified concerns about the safety and security of political candidates and citizens. Videos circulating on social media show the candidate leaving the event surrounded by guards before entering a white truck, which is followed by gunfire.

Villavicencio's campaign adviser, Patricio Zuquilanda, revealed that the candidate had received death threats prior to the shooting and had reported them to the authorities. Zuquilanda called for international intervention to address the escalating violence and attributed it to the growing issues of drug trafficking and rising crime rates. Other candidates echoed these sentiments, demanding action to ensure the safety of all citizens and prevent further loss of life.

Fernando Villavicencio was a prominent critic of corruption, particularly during the tenure of former President Rafael Correa. He had filed numerous judicial complaints against high-ranking members of the Correa government, including the ex-president himself. His assassination has sent shockwaves throughout Ecuador, with many expressing their grief and calling for justice.

The attack also left several others injured, although the exact number has not been confirmed by authorities. Villavicencio, who was 59 years old, leaves behind a wife and five children. The assassination has underscored the urgent need for the Ecuadorian government to address the rising violence and ensure the safety of its citizens.

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