The President of Ecuador, the conservative William Lassohas decreed The state of emergency applies nationwide for 60 days after the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, who was shot by suspected assassins as he was leaving an election rally in Quito.
“Elections will not be suspended”
In a message to the nation after a long State Security Committee meeting, Lasso confirmed this The extraordinary parliamentary elections will take place on August 20thas planned, but with a deployment of the military throughout the country as part of the state of emergency.
“Given the loss of a Democrat and fighter, The elections are not suspended. This must be done and democracy must be strengthened. “This is the best reason to vote and to defend democracy, the life and integrity of the Ecuadorian family and the future of the country,” said the President.
Rise in organized crime violence
Product of the security crisis that Ecuador is going through due to the increase in crime and the violence of organized crime had already declared a state of emergency since the end of Julyalso for 60 days, in the provinces of Manabí and Los Ríos and in the municipality of Durán, in the greater Guayaquil area.
What does it mean to declare a state of emergency?
The declarations of state of emergency, which are in addition to the military action on the street To support the work of the police, the Suspension of Some Rights basics such as freedom of assembly and that inviolability of the homewere a recurring measure by Lasso to curb a rise in crime.
They have been one for more than two years usual tonic in Ecuador the news of murders by killers Or from murders by criminal gangs, a situation that the government mainly links to organized crime and drug trafficking, which is rampant in the country’s coastal zone.
The president, who also ordered three days of national mourning for the loss of Villavicencio, confirmed the attack “It is a political crime that assumes a terrorist character”.
“We have no doubt that this is an attempt to sabotage the electoral process. “It’s no coincidence that it takes place a few days before the first round of the presidency,” Lasso said.
“We will not give in to those who want to intimidate the state, the state is steadfast and.” Democracy will not yield to the brutality of this murder. “We will not hand over power and democratic institutions to organized crime, even if it masquerades as a political organization,” he added.
Shot by a group of killers
Lasso explained that The attack happened around 18:15 local time (23:15 GMT). “and provoked a confrontation between the police officers protecting Fernando Villavicencio and the murderers,” one of whom succumbed to his injuries after being captured.
“The assassins, to cover their escape, They threw a grenade into the street, which didn’t explode and that it was later destroyed by a controlled detonation,” said the head of state.
“The investigation is ongoing and we will apply the full rigor of the law so that those responsible for the materials and the intellectuals pay the maximum penalty,” he added.
The ruler thanked him Expression of solidarity and international support and appreciated the presence of observation missions from organizations such as the European Union (EU) and the Organization of American States (OAS) at the elections.
For her part, the President of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Diana Atamaint, reiterated: “The dates of the elections scheduled for August 20 remain unchangedin accordance with the constitutional and legal mandate and all activities of the electoral plan.
For this, “the armed forces and the national police will double security in all constituencies so that all elections are carried out with guarantees.”