The Guardian reports:
The Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio has been shot dead as he left a campaign event in Quito, days before an election where the central issue is the rise violence and crime.
Videos on social media show Villavicencio, a former journalist who had collaborated with the Guardian and was outspoken about alleged links between organised crime and politics, surrounded by supporters and being escorted by security guards to a waiting vehicle when gunshots ring out as people start to scream and take cover.
In a televised address made after midnight, the country’s president, Guillermo Lasso, said the elections would continue as planned, though under a two-month state of emergency in which soldiers would guard polling stations.
The New York Times reports:
Villavicencio, a former journalist, was gunned down outside a high school in Quito after speaking to young supporters. A suspect was killed in the melee that followed, and nine other people were shot, officials said.
“When he stepped outside the door, he was met with gunfire,” Carlos Figueroa, who worked for Mr. Villavicencio’s campaign and was at the rally, said of the candidate. “There was nothing to be done, because they were shots to the head.”
Mr. Villavicencio, 59, was polling near the middle of an eight-person race. He was among the most vocal candidates on the issue of crime and state corruption.
Ecuadorian presidential election candidate Fernando Villavicencio assassinated at campaign rally https://t.co/z08DfAeEtG
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) August 10, 2023