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HomeNewsWho Was Fernando Villavicencio? Receive US

Who Was Fernando Villavicencio? Receive US

Union chief. Muckraking journalist. Legislator. Presidential candidate. And now, murderer’s sufferer.

Fernando Villavicencio, who was gunned down at a rally on Wednesday, had an extended historical past in Ecuadorean public affairs, largely as an antagonist to these in energy. He rose to prominence as a union chief on the state oil firm, Petroecuador, and later performed an important position in exposing a corruption scandal involving the administration of former President Rafael Correa.

Mr. Correa, a socialist, was Ecuador’s longest-serving democratically elected president, main the nation for a decade, via 2017. A commodities increase helped him carry thousands and thousands out of poverty, however his authoritarian type and the corruption allegations that trailed him deeply divided the nation.

And Mr. Villavicencio was “at all times contesting the facility” of Mr. Correa, in line with Caroline Ávila, an Ecuadorean political analyst.

As a journalist, Mr. Villavicencio obtained paperwork a few authorities surveillance program that he despatched to WikiLeaks however ultimately revealed himself. A few of his work led to demise threats and costs that have been extensively criticized as politically motivated. He fled to Peru in 2017 to hunt political asylum.

There, he met with a pal from his undergraduate days on the Central College of Ecuador. He had no cash to combat the costs towards him, and had been compelled to depart behind his spouse and two younger kids.

“He felt bullied and diminished,” stated the pal, Grace Jaramillo, who’s now a political scientist on the College of British Columbia.

However later that yr, Mr. Correa left workplace, and Mr. Villavicencio returned residence. He gained a seat within the Nationwide Meeting, the place he served till Could, when the legislature was dissolved by President Guillermo Lasso, who was dealing with impeachment proceedings over embezzlement accusations.

Mr. Lasso’s transfer additionally triggered a presidential election, with a vote set for Aug. 20. For his presidential run, Mr. Villavicencio, 59, forged himself because the anticorruption candidate. He was representing the Construct Ecuador Motion, a broad coalition, and in addition campaigned on issues like personal safety, in a rustic that has been consumed by violence associated to narco-trafficking.

Mr. Villavicencio was polling close to the center of an eight-person race, however remained hopeful about his probabilities, in line with Ms. Jaramillo. However he was gunned down earlier than voters may ship their verdict.

Quickly after the killing, Mr. Correa, the previous president, issued a lament on social media.

“They’ve assassinated Fernando Villavicencio,” Mr. Correa wrote. “Ecuador has develop into a failed state.”


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