Footage as right-wing presidential candidate in Ecuador is assassinated during campaign rally

Ecuadorian right-wing presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was shockingly shot to death at a campaign rally Wednesday resulting in a firefight with police.

(Video Credit: CBS Miami)

It’s being reported that Villavicencio was shot in the head three times. He was shot at a dozen times as he was getting into a vehicle. First responders attempted to save the candidate, rushing him to an emergency room but it was too late. Some reports contend that as many as 30 shots were fired at the event.

Outgoing President Guillermo Lasso confirmed that police safely detonated a grenade left behind by the killers as well, according to Reuters.

Details concerning the shooting have been confusing. Despite a shootout with police, supporters of Villavicencio managed to detain his killer. The suspect was taken into custody but reportedly died later from wounds incurred in the fight.

“The candidate for the presidency of Ecuador Fernando Villavicencio was shot to death this Wednesday afternoon after participating in a campaign event in Quito. The attack occurred in a school in the capital from which the applicant came. Villavicencio, whom most polls placed in fourth or fifth position among the opponents who will dispute the succession of Guillermo Lasso on August 20, presented himself as a battering ram against corruption under the slogan It’s time for the brave,” El Pais reported.

“The 59-year-old politician was a member of the Assembly until its dissolution and chaired the audit commission. He was criticized for his actions in the impeachment process against Lasso because that commission issued a report favorable to the president that did not have the support of other legislators. The attack occurs when there are 11 days to go before the elections in a country asphyxiated by an unprecedented crisis. During the campaign, the mayor of Manta, a key port for drug trafficking, and a candidate for the Assembly have been assassinated,” the media outlet continued.

Ecuador is immersed in a brutal crime wave. The assassination is one more in a series of murders to hit the South American country.

According to CNN, Lasso vowed the assassination would not go unpunished, asserting that “organized crime has come a long way, but the full weight of the law will fall on them.”

He announced a state of emergency for 60 days, immediate mobilization of the armed forces across the country, and three days of national mourning.

“This is a political crime, which has the character of terrorism, and we do not doubt that this murder is an attempt to sabotage the electoral process,” Lasso said in a video statement.

“I want to say to those who want to threaten the state, we will not hand over the power and the democratic institutions to organized crime even though it is disguised as political organizations,” he added.

Electoral Council President Diana Atamaint announced on Thursday that the election on August 20 will be held as planned according to CNN.

Villavicencio was a legislator in the National Assembly and was very vocal concerning corruption and the violence caused by drug trafficking in the country. He told CNN En Español Conclusiones in May that Ecuador had become a “narco-state” and he was ready to lead a fight against what he called the “political mafia.”

Nine people, including a candidate for the National Assembly and two police officers, were injured in the shootout.

CNN reported, “Later, the Ecuadorian Prosecutor’s Office said six people had been arrested during raids in Quito’s Conocoto and San Bartolo neighborhoods and that Villavicencio’s body had been transferred to a morgue for an autopsy.”

According to The Guardian, Villavicencio’s uncle, Galo Valencia, blamed the government for not providing his nephew enough security and described how he thought the gunshots were fireworks launched by supporters until “we saw that there were wounded falling, blood, injured people.”

“What we witnessed was like a horror film—the death of my relative. I have no words for what’s happening in the country. They just killed democracy,” he declared.

What insecurity we live in … if a man who fought more than 20 years, the most likely to win the elections, is silenced. Is this the way to win elections?” the uncle asked.

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