World

Ecuadorian presidential candidate killed at campaign event

Associated Press

QUITO — Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was shot and killed Wednesday by unidentified gunman while at a political rally in the country’s capital of Quito, President Guillermo Lasso said.

The killing comes amid a startling wave of violence in the South American nation, with drug trafficking and violent killings on the rise.

“I assure you that this crime will not go unpunished,” Lasso said in a statement. “Organized crime has gone too far, but they will feel the full weight of the law.”

The politician, 59, was the candidate for the Build Ecuador Movement. He was one of the most critical voices against corruption, especially during the government of former President Rafael Correa from 2007 to 2017. He filed many judicial complaints against high ranking members of the Correa government.

He was married and is survived by five children.

Early accounts show that several others were injured from shrapnel, though authorities did not confirm how many.

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