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Another political leader murdered in Ecuador

Pedro Briones, leader of the Revolución Ciudadana party was tragically killed on Monday. The cause of death was a bullet wound.

Pedro Briones

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Just days after the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio, a presidential candidate in Ecuador, now another political leader suffered the same fate in the South American country. Pedro Briones, leader of the Revolución Ciudadana (Citizen Revolution) party, lost his life on Monday after being approached by two criminals and shot.

The incident occurred in a park in the San Mateo parish, where, according to local newspaper El Universo, two people got off a motorcycle and killed him in cold blood. The leader was rushed to the Delfina Torres de Concha hospital, but doctors found no vital signs.

"Ecuador is living its bloodiest moment. We owe this to the total abandonment of an inept government and a state taken over by the mafias. My hug of solidarity to the family of comrade Pedro Briones, who fell at the hands of violence. Change is urgent!" Luisa Gonzalez, the presidential candidate for Briones' party, wrote on social networks. She is currently leading in the polls, but whether she could prevail in a general election is unclear.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organization linked to the Organization of American States (OAS), condemned the "political violence" in the context of the elections in Ecuador, which is "an attack on democracy" and called on the State to act "with diligence."

"The increase of political violence in Ecuador is framed in a context of serious deterioration of citizen security," added the IACHR in a statement.

"'Politicians' anti-democratic ordering the execution of uncomfortable adversaries"

Roger Celi, the renowned local political scientist, spoke exclusively to Voz Media about the series of political assassinations in the South American country. According to him, "In Ecuador, we no longer talk about corruption or lack of citizen security. The terms are different: narco judges, narco politicians, narco State, narco Democracy, among others."

"This shows that the problem is not violence per se, but the penetration of drug trafficking in the State. The calculated and systematic assassinations of political adversaries show that it is not only the narco and the gunmen attacking, it is anti-democratic 'politicians,' ordering the execution of uncomfortable adversaries," he added.

For Celi, this spate of violence is far from over. "The sad thing is that there will be impunity, pain, decomposition and history will repeat itself," he concluded.

The eight political deaths in Ecuador

  • Julio César Faracchio, mayoral candidate of Salinas
  • Omar Menéndez, elected mayoral candidate of Puerto López
  • Jairo Olaya, town councilman of Esmeraldas
  • Ríder Sánchez, assembly candidate Esmeraldas
  • Agustín Intriago, mayor of Manta
  • Miguel Santos, municipal director of Durán
  • Fernando Villavicencio, presidential candidate
  • Pedro Briones, director of Revolución Ciudadana