Unfortunately, Fernando Villavicencio is not the first politician to be assassinated in Ecuador. The wave of violence and insecurity has been raging across the South American country for some time. It should be remembered that they were shot last month Augustine Intriagothe mayor of the city of Manta, one of Ecuador’s most popular councillors, and a candidate for mayor of Puerto López in February this year, was also killed.
Since then, security measures have already been activated and even the President of Ecuador, William Lasso, declared a state of emergency in the city of Durán and in the coastal provinces of El Oro and Manabí, where Manta is located. The decree provided for a night curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The measure began at the end of July and was to apply for 60 days.
Fernando Villavicencio, an anti-corruption presidential candidate, was shot dead last night at a rally in the middle of the street in the Ecuadorian capital. It is a challenge from the violent gangs to the state of Ecuador and its security forces. So it’s worth asking: what went wrong if they were already on alert?
On the night of August 9, the Build 25 movement, which supported Villavicencio’s presidential candidacy, reported that there had been a violent raid on their party’s headquarters in Quito. “Armed men are currently attacking our campaign offices in Quito.” Witnesses confirm that he was attacked around 6:20 p.m. local time in Ecuador.
Fernando Villavicencio received death threats from a drug gang (the Sinaloa cartel) and was under police protection. In addition, the Ecuadorian press reports that special forces were conducting an investigation into the possible placement of an explosive device in the amphitheater of an educational facility where Villavicencio was campaigning.
The candidate’s sister has directly blamed the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Interior.
Alexandra Villavicencio accused the government of the conservative president William Lassoof his brother’s death in Quito at the hands of organized crime hit men.
The sister states that Fernando Villavicencio did not receive the necessary official protection from the authorities, although he denied the death threats made against him. According to Alexandra Villavicencio, he was guarded by the agents deployed to protect him, but there was no adequate police reinforcement.
“Where’s the security? I hold the government, the Minister of the Interior, responsible,” said his sister, very concerned. And in his opinion, Interior Minister Juan Zapata should have made a better offer to the eight presidential candidates, particularly those who were in the crosshairs of the drug trade.
The Chief Investigator of the Ecuadorian Police, Alain LunaYesterday he described the assassination of the presidential candidate as a “terrorist act”. It was also reported that there were controlled detonations from explosives left at the site of the rally attended by Fernando Villavicencio.
Now the message that Villavicencio left on his social networks weighs heavily. During a reel on Instagram the day before, he mentioned the candidate and posted a reel on his Instagram account mentioning the candidate Luisa Gonzalez and hinted, “Here I am, Ms. Luisa González… I was told to wear a (bulletproof) vest. “Here I am (with my) sweaty shirt… You are my bulletproof vest,” Villavicencio claimed during a rally in Chone, Manabí.
As reported by the EFE agency from Quito, President Lasso assured that the attack was carried out by a group of armed men, which led to an exchange of gunfire with the police and security personnel, resulting in the death of one of the attackers.
The prosecutor’s office, which has opened an investigation, said that this suspect, whose identity has not yet been released, was first taken to a court in Quito, wounded, and then to a medical center, where an ambulance from the fire department confirmed his death.
A rally candidate and two police officers are among the nine reported injuries who were taken to a nearby medical center.
During his escape, Lasso stated that the perpetrators of the attack threw a grenade that did not explode and that police later blew it up in a controlled manner.
So far, six people have been arrested for alleged links to the attack, which was the result of a series of raids in two neighborhoods of the Ecuadorian capital, according to prosecutors.