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Ecuador: Politician and influencer Cristhian Nieto and his wife are shot to death

The couple attended an event at a circus in Manta, in Manabí, when a group of armed men opened fire, beginning a "targeted" attack against the assembly member.

Captura de pantalla de un vídeo grabado por Cristhian Nieto

(YouTube: Cristhian Nieto Rescata)

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(AFP/VOZ MEDIA) Ecuadorian alternate assemblyman and social media influencer Cristhian Nieto and his wife were shot to death on Sunday night in the city of Manta, in Manabí, western Ecuador.

"The death of the individual (Nieto) is confirmed with several gunshot wounds," police colonel Fabary Montalvo confirmed to various media on Sunday night.

The substitute legislator, from the opposition party Citizen Revolution, and his wife Nicole Burgos were attending a circus performance in the center of the port city of Manta, in the province of Manabí, when a group of armed men entered through the back of the tent installed for the event and opened fire.

Montalvo added that the attack was "directed" against the assemblyman. Two other people, identified according to the newspaper El Universo as journalist Josué Suárez and a circus security guard, suffered injuries but survived.

Warning: Sensitive images of the shooting in Ecuador

Assemblyman Cristhian Nieto and his wife, Nicol Burgos, were shot to death at a circus. The moment of the attack:

The Ecuadorian Police reported that, until Sunday night, they managed to collect up to 12 pieces of ballistic evidence.

Burgos, the assemblyman's wife, was broadcasting live from her TikTok account when the attack began. The horror and desperation of those present was recorded in images that quickly went viral on social networks.

Cristhian Nieto, 34, was an alternate assemblyman for legislator Mónica Salazar, representative for the province of Los Ríos (southwest).

The legislator was also a renowned social media influencer, where he used the pseudonym Cristhian Rescata as he did social work with orphaned children, abandoned animals and drug users.

The National Assembly expressed on Sunday night, through its X account, a "deep feeling of regret and solidarity to their families and friends" in the face of the "terrible murder" of the couple.

We deeply regret the murder of Assemblyman Cristhian Nieto and his wife in the city of Manda. Our message of solidarity to his family and loved ones.

Two other murders of politicians have recently shaken the province of Manabí. In March, the mayor of San Vicente Brigitte García was shot and in July 2023, the mayor of Manta Agustín Intriago was murdered while he was walking through a neighborhood of the city.

Located between Colombia and Peru, the largest cocaine producers in the world, Ecuador years ago became a logistics center for shipping drugs to the United States and Europe.

In January, President Daniel Noboa declared the country in "internal armed conflict" in order to deploy the army to neutralize around twenty criminal gangs.