President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador has declared a state of emergency for sixty days following the murder of Fernando Villavicencio. The 59-year-old presidential candidate was shot dead on Wednesday after a campaign event in the capital city, Quito.

“As of this moment, the armed forces are mobilized throughout the country to guarantee the safety of citizens, the peace of the nation, and the free and democratic elections of August 20,” stated Lasso.

Villavicencio was shot as he got into a car after the event. According to local media, around thirty shots were fired, and nine people were wounded.

One suspect died from injuries sustained during the shootout that preceded his arrest. Later, six individuals were arrested in Quito as part of raids on suspicion of involvement in the murder.

The motive behind the attack and those responsible remain unknown. Villavicencio was one of the most outspoken candidates about the link between organized crime and government officials.

He pledged to combat corruption and tax evasion if elected president. The former journalist also campaigned with a plan to create jobs through private investments in agriculture.

Lasso vows that Villavicencio’s death will not go unpunished. “Organized crime has gone very far, but the full weight of the law will fall on them,” the president said.

Security is a significant issue in the presidential elections, along with unemployment and emigration. Around 1.4 million Ecuadorians left their country in 2022.

According to polls, Villavicencio was projected to receive 7.5 percent of the votes on August 20, placing him fifth among the eight candidates. The frontrunner is Luisa González, who has the support of former President Rafael Correa. She is expected to receive 25 percent of the votes.

About the author: Louise Roth

Louise Roth is the youngest member of WeeklyNewsReview team. Despite the young age Louise is interested in serious topics. Her main interests and education is all about economics and politics. But in our team she is the most productive do-it-all member, so she has to write on a variety of topics.

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