The FBI will support Ecuador in the investigations into the murder of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, announced Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso.
“I have requested support from the FBI for the investigation into the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio Valencia,” Lasso wrote on his X social network account, formerly Twitter. “In the next few hours, a delegation will arrive in the country,“ he added without elaborating.
Villavicencio, 59, who was running second in the polls for the August 20 general election, was shot dead Wednesday night as he was leaving a political rally.
His body is watched over intimately by his family in a funeral home in northern Quito.
After the crime, Lasso declared a state of emergency of 60 days throughout the country, plagued by drug violence, with an increase in recent years in murders, kidnappings and extortions. The measure allows the patrolling of the military in the streets of the nation.
Lasso also ordered three days of national mourning to honor the memory of the journalist and former congressman. The attack also left one suspect dead and nine injured, including three police officers guarding the candidate.
According to Fausto Salinas, commanding general of the police, there are six people who have been identified as part of a criminal gang.