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Ecuador’s president orders Armed Forces to protect candidates ahead of second round of elections

Ecuador’s president orders Armed Forces to protect candidates ahead of second round of elections

Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has ordered the local Armed Forces to guarantee the safety of presidential candidates ahead of the second round of elections, scheduled for October 15, amid an unprecedented wave of violence in the country.

“Dear Ecuadorians: I have ordered the Armed Forces of Ecuador to immediately assume command of the security of presidential candidates Luisa González and Daniel Noboa”, posted Lasso on his social networks on Thursday night (24). “Our democracy will come out of this electoral process strengthened and for that it is essential that the candidates have enough protection”, wrote the president in a social network.

— Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) August 25, 2023

candidate assassination

The country’s elections were surrounded by fears after the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio, one of the presidential candidates, less than a month before the election.

Villavicencio, a former congressman and investigative journalist with a history of exposing corruption, was shot dead as he left a rally at Anderson College in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, on Aug. 9. He was shot several times in the head after getting into the car he was going to leave the scene.

Six Colombians have been charged with the murder and remain in custody. The police accuse them of links with criminal groups. Another suspect was killed hours after the crime.

Although the ballots for the election called by President Guillermo Lasso had already been printed before Villavicencio’s assassination, the votes for him were automatically transferred to the party’s replacement, Christian Zurita, who came third in the first round with around 16 votes. .5%.

See also: Video shows the moment of the attack that killed Villavicencio in Ecuador

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*Published by Fernanda Pinotti, with information from CNN in Spanish

Source: CNN Brasil