Six Colombians arrested in connection to assassination of Ecuadorian presidential candidate
Interior Minister Juan Zapata on Thursday said authorities would tirelessly work to “discover the motive of this crime and its intellectual authors”
August 13, 2023 6:11pm
Updated: August 13, 2023 6:11pm
Six Colombian men were arrested in connection to the slaying of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villacencio and will be detained until an investigation is carried out, the country’s national prosecutor’s office announced on Friday.
On Wednesday, Villacencio, 59, was assassinated as he was getting into his car during a political campaign rally in the capital city of Quito. An unidentified man walked up to the presidential candidate and shot him in the head three times.
The suspect was fatally shot by security.
The six Colombian men were arrested on Wednesday after being linked to the murder. Authorities captured the men during a police raid in a house in Quito, according to an arrest report. In addition, officers found a rifle, a submachine gun, four pistols, three grenades, and four boxes of ammunition.
The six detainees have been identified as Andres M, Jose N, Eddy G, Camilo R, Jules C, and Jhon Rodriguez.
They will be detained for at least 30 days while the assassination is investigated by authorities. However, it is possible that they could be detained for longer. If found guilty, each one faces as many as 26 years in prison.
Interior Minister Juan Zapata on Thursday said authorities would tirelessly work to “discover the motive of this crime and its intellectual authors.”
Villavicencio, a member of the country’s national assembly and a former political journalist, focused his campaign on targeting corruption and preventing environmental destruction. He had been outspoken about the links between organized crime and government officials.
On Friday, a public ceremony to mourn Villacencio was held in the capital’s convention center. A separate funeral was being held for relatives.
“People need to know that his family’s in danger and we can’t go to such a big event,” the victim’s daughter, Tamia Villavicencio, told reporters outside the cemetery.