UN condemns assassination of Ecuador presidential candidate

UN condemns assassination of Ecuador presidential candidate

Fernando Villavicencio was shot dead Wednesday, days before polls

By Firdevs Bulut Kartal

TORONTO (AA) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday condemned the assassination of a presidential candidate in Ecuador, according to a statement attributable to a UN spokesperson.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the assassination of a presidential candidate of Ecuador, Fernando Villavicencio. Attacks of this nature represent a grave threat to democracy, and those responsible must be brought to justice," the statement said.

The Secretary-General expressed his solidarity with the government and people of Ecuador, especially with the family of Villavicencio.

In the statement, he recalled his meeting with President Guillermo Lasso on July 21, with whom he discussed the deterioration of security in Ecuador, the impact of organized crime and the need to enhance national and international efforts to fight it.

The UN stands ready to continue to support the Ecuadorian authorities with a view to addressing the violence in keeping with international human rights norms and standards, the statement added.

Villavicencio was shot dead Wednesday while leaving a campaign rally in the capital Quito.

The attack took place at 6.20 p.m. (2320GMT) as he was leaving the Anderson School.

Villavicencio, who most polls put in fourth place among the eight candidates competing to fill the spot to be left early by Lasso in elections on Aug. 20, had built his campaign around the fight against corruption and organized crime.

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