Weekly Report - 10 August 2023 (WR-23-32)

Political assassination rocks Ecuador

Ecuador’s presidential election campaign was plunged into disarray on 9 August when one of the leading candidates was shot dead at a campaign rally. Fernando Villavicencio, a former investigative journalist turned politician who became an outspoken critic of corruption and drug trafficking and the nefarious nexus between criminals and politics, was leaving a campaign event in Quito when he was cut down in a hail of bullets. President Guillermo Lasso condemned the assassination, which he blamed on organised crime, and declared a two-month state of emergency and three days of national mourning. He insisted, however, that the presidential and congressional elections would go ahead as planned on 20 August.

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