Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Assassinated for Speaking Out Against Corruption

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An Ecuadorian presidential candidate who recently pledged to root out corruption and lock up the country’s “thieves” was fatally shot at a political rally in the capital on Wednesday.

Fernando Villavicencio, 59, was not a front-runner in the election, but his death deepened an organized crime crisis that has already claimed thousands of lives and underscored the challenge that Ecuador’s next leader will face.

Villavicencio was shot multiple times as he was getting into a car after a rally in Quito. He died at a hospital shortly after.

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The assassination has been condemned by politicians and human rights groups alike. President Guillermo Lasso called it a “cowardly act” and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Villavicencio had been a vocal critic of corruption in Ecuador for years. He had recently published a book about alleged ties between government officials and drug cartels.

He had also received death threats in the past, but he had refused to back down from his activism.

The assassination of Villavicencio is a reminder of the dangers that journalists and activists face in Ecuador. It is also a sign of the growing power of organized crime in the country.

The election for a new president is scheduled for August 20. It remains to be seen how Villavicencio’s death will affect the outcome of the election.

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