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Ecuador Presidential Candidate Is Assassinated During Rally


A presidential candidate in Ecuador was killed on Wednesday evening when gunfire burst through a political rally in the capital, Quito, just days before an election that has centered around the country’s increasingly dire security situation.

The death of the candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, was confirmed by President Guillermo Lasso. Mr. Villavicencio was a former journalist who was polling near the middle of eight people running, and was among the most outspoken candidates on the link between organized crime and government officials.

His death provoked immediate alarm in Ecuador, a once relatively safe nation that has been consumed by violence related to narcotrafficking.

“Outraged and shocked by the assassination,” Mr. Lasso wrote on Twitter late Wednesday.

Mr. Villavicencio, 59, had been at a local high school, where he had addressed young supporters.

Carlos Figueroa, a member of his campaign who was at the rally, witnessed the shooting.

“When he stepped outside the door, he was met with gunfire,” Mr. Figueroa said. “There was nothing to be done, because they were shots to the head.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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