Police: All suspects in Ecuadorian candidate’s assassination Colombian

Six people arrested in connection with the assassination of a popular presidential candidate in Ecuador, as well as one attacker who was shot dead, were all Colombians, police have said.

One of the alleged attackers was shot and killed by security personnel, and six other people were arrested.

"All of them, including the deceased, are Colombians," police said on Thursday

Previously, Interior Minister Juan Zapata had indicated that the suspects in the killing of Fernando Villavicencio were all foreigners.

He had added that "those arrested belong to organised crime gangs," without connecting the assassination to any one of the country's multiple groups known for drug trafficking.

Villavicencio, a 59-year-old journalist and prominent anti-corruption crusader, was gunned down as he left a campaign rally in the capital Quito on Wednesday night.

Villavicencio's body was transported from a forensic lab to a funeral home north of Quito for a private wake.

State of emergency

Following the assassination, President Guillermo Lasso declared a two-month state of emergency and wrote on social media that he had "requested the support of the FBI" with the investigation into the murder.

He also declared three days of national mourning. During the arrests and raids, police found a rifle, a submachine gun, four pistols, three grenades, two rifle magazines, four boxes of ammunition, two motorcycles and a vehicle reported as stolen.

Villavicencio's journalistic investigations had exposed a vast graft network which led to former president Rafael Correa being sentenced to eight years in prison. Ecuador's location — between major cocaine producers Colombia and Peru — and laxer controls have made it a new nerve centre for the global drug trade.


Source: TRT