A mayoral candidate in the Ecuadorian city of Puerto Lopez who was assassinated just hours before polls opened has won the election, reports said Tuesday.
Omar Menendez, 41, was a leftist candidate with the Civic Revolution Movement before he was shot dead on Saturday by a gunman who burst into a room where Menendez was with his campaign staff.
Police are still investigating the attack, which also killed a teenager, the BBC reported.
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The motive behind the attack remains unclear, although it comes as violent drug-related crime has increased across the country.
Menendez campaigned to make Puerto Lopez safe not only for its citizens, but as a way to boost the local economy by ensuring security for tourism, sustainability, productivity and effective governance. Named “Five for All”. Held on 5th February.
According to local news agency Telesur, former President Rafael Correa and a top official of the Civil Revolution Movement said that the country is bleeding. It is unprecedented. “enough.”
Menendez’s death was not the only apparent killing before the municipal elections this year, as Julio Cesar Faracio, a mayoral candidate for the city of Salinas, was also shot and killed last month.
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The suspect in Fracchio’s murder has been arrested and reportedly convicted of drug trafficking.
The suspects involved in Menendez’s shooting have not been arrested after fleeing the scene on motorcycles.
According to a local news outlet, men dressed in black with their faces covered posted a video claiming responsibility for Menendez’s attack.
The alleged attackers said they were “vigilantes” who were removing people involved in drug trafficking in the area.
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso condemned the attacks, although supporters of the civil revolution movement called on him to do more to combat political violence.
“We can no longer tolerate this wave of violence,” the group said in a statement, according to Telesur. “Step aside, if you do not know how to govern or how to guarantee our lives.”
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