The controversial tweet denouncing Rafael Correa after the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio: “You are a cowardly scoundrel.” Your party will be over soon.

“Can you tell me if it’s legal to campaign with a fugitive criminal? You can answer or you will remain silent »Fernando Villavicencio wrote on social network X last November and then on Twitter. The Ecuadorian presidential candidate at the head of the Construye movement, who was riddled with gunfire at the exit of a rally in Quito on Wednesday, questioned the appearance of former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on an election poster where he posed with Leonardo Orlando. his party’s candidate for Manabí Prefecture, who would be re-elected in February’s regional elections in a vote that certified Correísmo’s electoral recovery.

Villavicencio was alluding to Correa’s controversial legal situation, who is now in exile in Belgium. In 2020 was the former President sentenced to eight years in prison and 25 years disqualification from public office in Ecuador as part of the bribery case, a case investigating excessive pricing in tenders, bribery and other crimes against public administration allegedly committed during his presidency (2007–2017). It was some of Villavicencio’s journalistic research that tarnished Correa’s image and made it easier for the Ecuadorian National Court to prosecute him.

The former president has always defended his innocence. Even today he sees himself as a political refugee, being persecuted by the courts, the opposition and the “media powers” of Ecuador. In this niche of dissidents was Villavicencio, whom Correa himself would have followed and spied on during his presidency. The animosity is well known and has existed for a long time. Therefore, it was not surprising that the former president quoted Villavicencio’s tweet with the following message: “The only criminal is you, and the only fugitive was you.” Remember when you were scared to death and even tried to stand up for to apologize for your shame? You are a cowardly villain. Your party will be over soon.

The former president flatly denied allegations by Villavicencio, whom he described as a “criminal”. And that was the journalist sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2014 for insulting Correa himself. He then denounced alleged crimes against humanity during a military operation in a hospital, which he could not prove. However, when the verdict was announced, he escaped justice until he found refuge in the Amazon jungle. Shortly thereafter, he landed in Lima, where he remained until 2017, when the new president, an old Correa ally who eventually turned his back on him, Lenín Moreno, authorized his return to the country in freedom.

Some of Villavicencio’s closest associates, such as his wife Verónica Sarauz, hold Correísmo responsible for his murder. The message would become a test. However, after knowing the facts, the former president said expressed his “solidarity with his family and with all the families of the victims of the violence”.. “Those who want to sow more hatred with this new tragedy, I hope they understand that it will only continue to destroy us,” he added in a message that also lamented the state of the country: “Ecuador is becoming a become a failed state.” .”

A few minutes before Luisa GonzalezCandidate of Citizen Revolution (RC), Correísmo’s new brand, condemned the attack that ended Villavicencio’s life and suspended a campaign rally in Carapungo, a town north of Quito. “We will never allow this type of act to go unpunished. If they touch one, they touch all. “When one person’s life is in danger, all people’s lives are in danger,” he told his supporters.

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