‘Deadly blow to democracy’: Ecuadoran presidential candidate shot dead fortnight before election

Fernando Villavicencio’s assassination comes amid growing power of organised crime in the country

Fernando Villavicencio: Assassinated presidential candidate became a household name for his work as a journalist, when he uncovered numerous corruption scandals. Picture: Getty

Fernando Villavicencio, Ecuadoran presidential candidate, has been assassinated less than two weeks before an election, throwing the country’s unstable political environment into further turmoil.

It comes as a wave of violence linked to drug trafficking which, in the midst of the electoral process, has already led to the death of a mayor and a parliamentary candidate.

Current President Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved congress this year to avoid impeachment, summoned his security council in Quito and ...