International

Six Alleged Assassins Of Ecuador Presidential Candidate Slain Inside High-Security Prison

The alleged hitmen were apprehended shortly after the crime and were under preventive detention. In a twist of fate, their demise occurred within the confines of Litoral Penitentiary, known for its dangerous reputation and having witnessed several deadly riots in recent years.

Declared dead when you’re alive
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In a dramatic turn of events, six individuals believed to be involved in the assassination of former Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio have been found dead inside Guayaquil's notorious Litoral Penitentiary. The prison authorities confirmed the demise of the alleged assailants, identified as Jhon Gregore R., Andrés Manuel M., Adey Fernando G., Camilo Andrés R., Sules Osmini C., and José Neyder L., providing no details on the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

The incident unfolded as the Prosecutor's Office was nearing the completion of its investigation into the murder of Villavicencio, who was fatally shot on August 9. Despite not being a frontrunner in the presidential race, the shocking daylight assassination raised concerns about the escalating crime wave in Ecuador. The late politician had reported receiving threats from affiliates of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel, adding to the complex backdrop of organized crime in the country.

The alleged hitmen were apprehended shortly after the crime and were under preventive detention. In a twist of fate, their demise occurred within the confines of Litoral Penitentiary, known for its dangerous reputation and having witnessed several deadly riots in recent years. Although the prison authority did not disclose specifics about the incident, local media reports suggest that the killings took place in pavilion 7, reportedly dominated by the local gang Los Choneros, led by Adolfo Macías. Villavicencio, during his election campaign, had explicitly accused Macías of being behind threats on his life.

President Guillermo Lasso, currently out of the country, expressed his commitment to uncovering the truth. In a message on the social network X, he assured the public, stating, "Neither complicity nor cover-up, the truth will be known here." Lasso declared his intention to return to Ecuador to address the unfolding emergency.

The timing of these events adds a layer of complexity, as Ecuador braces for a runoff presidential election on October 15. The competition features the top finishers from the August vote, namely leftist Luisa González and former lawmaker Daniel Noboa, who happens to be the son of a prominent banana tycoon.

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