Ecuador Declares State Of Emergency After Assassination Of Presidential Candidate
Assassination Sparks National Emergency: Ecuador Rallies for Democracy Amidst Tragedy
Ecuadoran President Guillermo Lasso announced a two-month state of emergency in the wake of the tragic assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio Valencia.
Despite the shocking incident, President Lasso expressed unwavering determination to proceed with the scheduled general elections later this month.
“The Armed Forces are now in full mobilization across the entire national territory, with the mission to ensure the safety of our citizens, maintain the nation’s tranquility, and uphold the democratic integrity of the upcoming elections on August 20,” declared President Lasso in his address broadcast on YouTube to the nation.
In addition to this emergency measure, President Lasso declared three days of national mourning “to pay homage to the memory of a true patriot, Fernando Villavicencio Valencia.”
The 59-year-old centrist politician and a relentless advocate against corruption met a tragic end on Wednesday evening, succumbing to gunfire as he was leaving a rally in the capital city, Quito.
Villavicencio had been the second most favored contender in the country’s upcoming presidential race, as indicated by recent opinion polls. His dedication to fighting corruption and his commitment to a centrist political stance had earned him considerable support.
The heinous attack also left nine others injured, including a candidate running for the national legislature and two police officers.
Prosecutors disclosed that one of the alleged assailants was shot and killed by security personnel, highlighting the gravity of the situation. In coordinated operations, law enforcement authorities apprehended six additional suspects in southern Quito and a neighboring town.
Ecuador’s President Lasso remarked, “This is a political crime that acquires a terrorist character and we do not doubt that this murder is an attempt to sabotage the electoral process.” President Lasso’s strong words emphasize the significance of the upcoming elections and the country’s commitment to preserving its democratic values.
Diana Atamaint, the President of the National Electoral Council, also affirmed that the scheduled elections on August 20 would proceed as planned.
Ecuador’s recent history has been marred by an upswing in violence associated with drug trafficking, a challenge that the government has been grappling with.
As an indication of the escalating turmoil, President Lasso had earlier declared a state of emergency in the town of Duran, along with the coastal provinces of Los Rios and Manabi, following a grim prison massacre and the targeted killing of a mayor.
In this trying moment for the nation, Ecuador stands united in its commitment to democracy and justice, as it mourns the loss of a valiant leader while vowing to press on towards a brighter future.