Nuevo Culture

Who Killed Ecuador’s Presidential Candidate? — Here Are the Conflicting Reports

When Fernando Villavicencio, candidate to the Presidency of Ecuador, was assassinated late Wednesday August 9th as he was leaving a political rally, the first reactions were quick to point to organized crime. The man responsible for killing Villavicencio was apprehended right away, and later announced to have died in police custody. But the fact that he was caught promised answers would be forthcoming. 

But a day later, two videos have emerged, which paint a confusing picture of what actually happened. The first one features a group of men dressed in black, wearing hoods and brandishing weapons. They identify themselves as members of Los Lobos and claim responsibility for the killing of Villavicencio. 

“Good evening people of Ecuador,” one of the hooded men in the first video says. “We want to make clear to everyone that every time corrupt politicians don’t deliver on their promises they make when they take our money, which is millions of dollars, to finance their campaigns, they will be killed.”

The video goes on to threaten another presidential candidate, Jan Topic, that much like Villavicencio, had promised to be very harsh on organized crime. 

It’s a straightforward answer, one that was accepted for a few hours – until another video started circulating

In that one, a group of men dressed in white and actually showing their faces identify themselves as the real members of Los Lobos, and proclaim the gang had nothing to do with the assassination.

“Ecuador, don’t let yourself be fooled,” one of the men in the second video says. “We are the GDO (organized crime group) Los Lobos, we don’t cover our faces, no one speaks for us and we have kept the peace.” He goes on to add that the first video is totally false, and claims other groups are trying to destabilize the country.

Police have at least six other suspects in custody for the murder of Fernando Villavicencio. In addition, all suspects are reportedly foreign nationals.

The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, has announced a state of emergency for 60 days. And the elections, which were scheduled for August 20th, are set to go ahead as planned.