“Presidential Candidate Assassinated in Ecuador: Wave of Violence Grips the Nation”

Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated by hitmen in Ecuador just days before the elections. The murder is part of a recent wave of violence in the country. Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso expressed outrage and vowed that the crime would not go unpunished. The country has declared a state of emergency for 60 days and elections will still be held on August 20. Villavicencio, a former trade unionist and journalist, had been vocal against corruption and criminal organizations, which may have led to death threats. Ecuador has been experiencing an increase in drug-related violence and homicides. The Storiest reported

The presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, was assassinated by hitmen as he left a political event just 11 days before the elections in Ecuador. This act of violence is part of a larger wave of violence that has been plaguing the country in recent times. The news of Villavicencio’s murder has left the nation in a state of shock and tension, with President Guillermo Lasso expressing his outrage and vowing that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. As a response to the escalating violence, Lasso has declared a state of emergency for 60 days and confirmed that the elections will proceed as scheduled on August 20.

Villavicencio, a prominent candidate from the Construye movement, was organizing a political rally at Anderson School in Quito. After the event concluded, he was about to leave the venue and entered a white vehicle when a group of hitmen on motorcycles opened fire on the car. At least 40 gunshots were fired, and Villavicencio was struck by three bullets. Despite being rushed to a nearby health center, he could not be saved.

In the aftermath of the attack, it was revealed that Villavicencio had been receiving death threats from a criminal organization called Los Choneros, led by a person known as “Fito.” The former trade unionist and journalist had dedicated his career to exposing corruption and fighting against the influence of criminal organizations in Ecuador. His strong stance against these powerful entities likely made him a target for assassination.

Sadly, Villavicencio’s murder is not an isolated incident in Ecuadorian politics. In recent months, several other candidates and political figures have been killed. The country has been grappling with a surge in violence, particularly in areas like Guayaquil, Manta, and Esmeraldas, which are known for drug-related activities. Ecuador’s strategic geographic location between Colombia and Peru, the main producers of cocaine, has made it vulnerable to drug trafficking and criminal activities. The lack of control over maritime and air territories, along with the territorial extension of Ecuador, has facilitated the transport of drugs and increased the power of criminal organizations.

The government has recognized the urgent need to address the escalating crime rate and has taken steps to strengthen national security. Since President Lasso took office, there has been an increase in the number of police officers in the country. However, the challenges extend beyond law enforcement as Ecuador is also facing a prison crisis. The prisons have become hotbeds of violence, with clashes between rival criminal groups resulting in numerous deaths. President Lasso has declared a state of emergency in the prisons, and the police and army have been mobilized to restore order.

The situation in Ecuador is dire, with a rising homicide rate and a sense of insecurity among the population. It is crucial for the government to prioritize the fight against crime, invest in national security, and implement comprehensive strategies to combat corruption and dismantle criminal organizations. The upcoming elections will be a significant test for the country as it seeks to address these pressing issues and restore peace and stability..