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Assassination of Fernando Villavicencio, presidential candidate: Ecuador declares a state of emergency

 Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso has declared a 60-day state of emergency following the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. In an address to the nation, he announced that the armed forces would be mobilized throughout the territory to guarantee the security of citizens and the holding of free and democratic elections. A decree was also signed for three days of national mourning.

Fernando Villavicencio, Ecuador's presidential candidate, was tragically shot and killed on Wednesday afternoon shortly after attending a campaign event in Quito. The attack took place outside a school in the capital. Fernando Villavicencio, positioned in fourth place according to most polls among the eight competitors in the running to succeed Guillermo Lasso on August 20, was hit by three headshots. He defined himself as a fervent fighter against corruption, carrying the slogan "It's time for the brave».

At least nine other people were injured in the attack. According to the attorney general's office, one of the suspects was fatally injured in the shooting.

Early presidential and legislative elections will be held in Ecuador on August 20. President Guillermo Lasso had called the elections in May to dissolve parliament, saying lawmakers were not allowing the government to carry out reforms. Lasso, whose term was due to expire in 2025, announced he would not stand for re-election.

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