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Slain candidate Fernando’s running mate to contest for President

2023 Aug 13, 13:10, Quito [Ecuador]

Andrea Gonzalez Nader, the running mate of Fernando Villavicencio — who was shot dead on Wednesday — will now run for President in the upcoming polls, CNN reported citing the Construye Movement party.

González Náder, who was Villavicencio's running mate, was "the person chosen by Fernando Villavicencio and by the Construye Movement to replace the President in his absence," the party said in a statement.

It said that in the next few hours the name of the vice-presidential candidate will also be announced and that he will come "from among the most trusted people and who have shared the struggles of our comrade Fernando Villavicencio,” CNN reported.

Ecuador's early elections will be held on August 20.

Villavicencio, a former journalist who had been outspoken about the link between organized crime and government officials, was gunned down outside a high school in the capital, Quito, on Wednesday, while he was speaking to young supporters.

The attack came just days before voting begins in an election that has been dominated by concerns over drug-related violence, the New York Times reported.

In the scuffle that followed, one suspect was killed and nine other people were shot, officials said.

Six suspects were also arrested in connection with the assassination, who were identified as Colombian nationals.

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.

This comes less than a month after the mayor of Manta, a port city, was fatally shot during a public appearance, the New York Times reported.

Ecuador, on South America’s western edge, witnessed an extraordinary transformation between 2005 and 2015 as millions of people rose out of poverty, riding the wave of an oil boom whose profits were poured into education, health care and other social programs.

But more recently, the country has been dominated by an increasingly powerful narco-trafficking industry. Foreign drug mafias have joined forces with local prison and street gangs, unleashing a wave of violence, unlike anything in the country’s recent history. Homicide rates are at record levels, the New York Times reported. 


Ecuador Andrea Gonzalez Nader Fernando Villavicencio ecuador polls Construye Movement
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