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Saturday, August 12, 2023

6 Colombians Arrested in Relation to the Assassination of Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate Villavicencio

 "Socalj" for Borderland Beat

The six suspects arrested in connection with the assassination of a Presidential candidate in Ecuador are Colombian nationals, Ecuador’s interior minister, Juan Zapata, said Thursday, marking another twist in a killing that has rocked a nation consumed by violence fueled by drug trafficking.

The candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, a former journalist who had been outspoken about the link between organized crime and government officials, was gunned down outside a high school in the capital, Quito, after speaking to young supporters. The attack came just days before voting begins in an election that has been dominated by concerns over drug-related violence.

A suspect was killed in the melee that followed, and nine other people were shot, officials said.

Villavicencio, 59, was polling near the middle of an eight-person race. He was among the most vocal candidates on the issue of crime and state corruption.

It was the first assassination of a presidential candidate in Ecuador, once a relatively safe nation, and came less than a month after the mayor of Manta, a port city, was fatally shot during a public appearance.

Villavicencio's party said on Wednesday that discussions had been held about whether to suspend campaigning due to recent political violence, including the July murder of the mayor of Manta.

Villavicencio opposed a suspension, it said, saying it would be an act of cowardice.

“Outraged and shocked by the assassination,” President Guillermo Lasso wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, late Wednesday, blaming the death on “organized crime.”

Mr. Lasso said the attackers had thrown a grenade into the street as a distraction as they tried to flee, but that it failed to explode. The national prosecutor’s office, also posting on the X platform, said that a suspect had been shot and apprehended amid crossfire with security forces, and had died shortly afterward.

The office later said the authorities had carried out raids and detained six people in connection with the assassination. Those six, and the dead killer are all Colombian nationals. The dead suspect had been arrested on weapons charges in July, the government said. The men were primarily natives of Cali, Colombia. The prosecutor's office added that the six detained men belong to organized crime groups.

The revelation that the suspects are Colombian is reminiscent of the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, in July 2021, in a plot that ensnared at least 18 Colombians who remain jailed in Haiti awaiting trial. The Colombians are accused of assisting in the operation to kill the Haitian leader in his home. His killers surrounded the home, claiming to be DEA agents.

Former Colombian President Ernesto Samper expressed worry about the news of the Colombian nationality of the murderers of candidate Villavicencio. "It coincides with the murder of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, and the former guerrilla leaders of the FARC in Venezuela, carried out by suspicious paramilitary commandos”, he stated.

“Why did we become, now, exporters of thugs and murderers?” questioned former Colombian President Samper.

The 6 Detained Colombians

Authorities have determined that two of the six Colombians who were captured had entered the country only a few days before the killing. According to the authorities, the two are Andrés Manuel Mosquera Ortiz and José Neider López Hitas.

When they were captured, the Ecuadorian Police seized various weapons including as a rifle, submachine gun, 4 pistols, 3 grenades, 2 rifle magazines, 4 boxes of ammunition, 2 motorcycles, and a stolen car.

According to information from Noticias Caracol, intelligence sources from the National Police indicated that the assassins also had a plan B, in the event that the hitmen were unable to assassinate Fernando Villavicencio. According to the Ecuadorian authorities, the alleged assassins planned to detonate explosive charges when the vehicle in which Villavicencio and his security team were traveling in passed by.

Andrés Manuel Mosquera Ortiz

He served a four-year prison sentence in 2018 for the crime of manufacturing and trafficking firearms and ammunition, in the Popayán prison.

José Neider López Hitas "Hito"

Lopez has a criminal record for minor theft.

Adey Fernando García García

From Cali, the authorities were able to determine that the detainee has a record of violence against a public servant, trafficking, manufacturing, possession of narcotic drugs, homicide, conspiracy to commit an aggravated crime, manufacturing, trafficking, and possession of weapons.

Camilo Andrés Romero Reyes

Camilo has been prosecuted for receiving crimes, which means that he took advantage of other criminal acts, in addition to the judicial system, apparently, he has other pending proceedings.

Jules Osmin Castaño Alzate

He has a history of domestic violence, conspiracy to commit a crime, qualified theft, manufacturing, trafficking, and possession of narcotics, as well as petty theft.

Jhon Gregore Rodríguez Góngora

No criminal records have been found in either Ecuador or Colombia.

Villavicencio's Accusations Against Cartels

After college, where he ran for student office as a Trotskyist, Villavicencio became a union leader at Petroecuador, the country’s national oil company. Soon after Correa came to power, he started writing about government corruption as a political journalist. His house had been raided, and he had no money to fight the charges that had been brought against him.

Two months before this assassination, the former journalist demanded that the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, solve the problem of drug trafficking since those criminal organizations had expanded to Ecuador.

On June 8, he posted a video on his Facebook stating that the Sinaloa Cartel and the CJNG were responsible for the criminal activity in the country.

“Our country is the biggest victim of the criminal operations of the biggest drug mafias in the world. But those mafias and those cartels are not Ecuadorian. It is not that they flourished in the beautiful town of Chone or in Esmeraldas; the mafias are from Mexico: Sinaloa, Jalisco Nueva Generación, and now the Albanian mafia,” Villavicencio asserted.

He stated that the industrialization of cocaine is carried out in Colombia, and the criminal groups use Ecuador as a transit territory for the storage and export of drugs. "We are not going to allow organized crime managed by these schools of hitmen, of drug criminals from Colombia and Mexico, to continue claiming innocent victims in this country," he asserted.

The same message was sent to the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro. "(That) solves the cocaine problem in a country where a large part of the political class has been financed with dirty money from drug trafficking," he said.

Villavicencio announced in July, that he had received death threats from José Adolfo Macías Villamar, "Fito", identified as the leader of the "Los Choneros" gang, which has ties to the Sinaloa Cartel.

In 2014, his house was raided and a van fired four shots and caused four explosions at the front door of the home.

Political Violence in Ecuador

The killing is a major blow to a nation that was already suffering deep economic, social, and political upheaval. Alexandra Villavicencio, the politician's sister, assured that the attack was a plot to silence her brother: "If something happens to our lives, we hold the government and (Rafael) Correa responsible," she warned.

“Electorally speaking, this year is the most violent in our history,” said Arianna Tanca, an Ecuadorean political scientist. “I think that what is going to change is the way we conceive of politics. I think that from now on it becomes a high-risk profession.”

Complicating the situation, Mr. Lasso disbanded the country’s opposition-led National Assembly in May, a drastic move he made as he faced impeachment proceedings over accusations of embezzlement.

The move, which is allowed under the Constitution, meant that new elections for president and legislative representatives would be held. The vote in which Mr. Villavicencio was supposed to compete is set for Aug. 20; a second round of voting will be held in October if no single candidate wins a clear victory. Diana Atamaint, the president of the National Electoral Council, said the election date would not be moved, citing constitutional and legal issues.

Ecuadorian State of Emergency

In a televised statement early Thursday, Lasso declared a 60-day, nationwide state of emergency, a measure that involves the restriction of some civil liberties, and he said security forces would be deployed across the country. Such emergency declarations, meant for extraordinary circumstances, have become more common in recent years, but have done little to curtail Ecuador’s soaring violence.

Lasso stressed, however, that the elections would proceed as scheduled. “This was a political crime, terrorism,” he said. “And there is no doubt that this assassination is an attempt to sabotage the electoral process. It is no coincidence this happened days before the first round of voting.”

Villavicencio, who had worked as a journalist, activist, and legislator, gained prominence as an opponent of correísmo, the leftist movement of former President Rafael Correa, who served from 2007 to 2017 and still holds significant political sway in Ecuador. A presidential candidate who has Correa’s backing, Luisa González, is leading in the polls.

Villavicencio wrote often about alleged corruption in the Correa government, which made him the subject of legal persecution and death threats. He briefly sought political asylum in Peru. In 2017, Mr. Villavicencio successfully ran for a seat in the National Assembly, where he served until the legislature was dissolved by Lasso.

Villavicencio's Final Speech

In his last speech, delivered at the Anderson Coliseum to the north of the city of Quito, where he was attacked and assassinated, Fernando Villavicencio attacked his adversaries with expressions such as the following:

“On August 20, compañeras and compañeros, it will be decided between the mafia and the homeland. Either the mobsters win or the mafia returns. Or the good people, the Democrats, the brave people, win the battle. Win the country. That is the great hope that I have. If on August 20, the homeland will win. It is already too much pain that they have caused this country in the last two decades. Too much-accumulated pain. Rivers of money and wealth have gone into the pockets of white-collar criminals, guayaberas, and even poncho-wearing criminals because corruption does not discriminate .”

“ I am here because I want a country of freedoms. Because I don't want them to do to any of you at home what they did to me. I don't want anyone else to experience what I experienced, what my family experienced. The worst persecution anyone has ever suffered. And that's why I'm not afraid of them. Because the night they raided my house and my year-and-a-half-year-old son cried without knowing why they might raid his house on a Tuesday, any day, in the morning. But breaking into the house on Christmas night only makes one person sick. And that guy who is on the run today, who will never eat a hornado in Sangolquí again, is a sick man who can only generate compassion. I already beat him. I already defeated him. That is why he is sentenced ”.

“ And I feel proud that criminals hate me. It would be terrible if criminals wanted me. But I don't have revenge or hatred for them. I have compassion for them. And in the name of all the victims, in the name of Jorge Gabela, in the name of Quinto Pazmiño, in the name of all the victims of that tyranny, we are going to defeat them on August 20 so that they never again dare to make power an instrument of persecution of ordinary people.”


  1. That man in green looking like one of those putos out of Sinaloa 😂

    1. Damn bruh sounds like u got a crush on home boy lol

    2. 5:09 your parents must be from chihuahua or zacatecas or Jalisco la mayoría de la gente que vive en Estados Unidos de esas partes nos tienen envidia a los sinaloenses y no estoy hablando de los narcos

    3. 9:15 lo malo es que estas bien equivocado

  2. Actual killers or scapegoats served up for the public?

    And is it possible sometimes these "assassins" have to kill or else they get killed? Or in some cases to pay off a debt?

  3. 2nd perp from the left, it appears they smacked him on his beak a little in the preliminary interview..
    Looks like a crack squad of well trained assassins, they had a plan B up their sleeve, but neglected to formulate an escape plan to bail out of town afterwards ..
    Even so, it's always best to go with out-of-town talent..
    Even if these schmucks are just sadsack patsies, somebody clipped the politico, the question is who ordered the hit?

  4. A colombian hit team also killed the Haitian president. Those guys were all ex military. Sicarios for hire is big in Colombia

    1. Ex military......nope ....killers for hire....may have served but nothing more than putos.

      REAL Ex military are always military.

      They may be poor but they love their country, famlies and culture.

      Big difference.

    2. 6:03 Colombians are the best in terms of sicarios and robberies

    3. 8:33 ohh just stop with your nonsense lol 😆

    4. The Yakuza are the best in town.

  5. Smart move… pull a Sosa and hire some Colombians…

  6. Quiénes son “Los Lobos”, la pandilla aliada al CJNG que se adjudicó el asesinato de Fernando Villavicencio
    El excandidato a la presidencia de Ecuador fue víctima de un ataque en Quito, tras un evento como parte de su campaña electoral

    1. Lobos later issued a video (without being disguised) denying their involvement in the assassination.

  7. What's next? Cds going to kill china's president Xi JinPing?

  8. Interesting Samper drawing parallels between this assassination with that of the President of Haiti and FARC dissident commanders in Venezuela. Yes, reportedly each has had a Colombian connection with groups of mercenaries conducting the hit, but wonder if there’s anything there, and if so, who or which groups are involved… someone is making moves…

  9. Them Colombians don't play games
    they are everywhere doing hits,schemes,robberies etc..

    1. In these years, Colombians are like a whore for the cartels and gangs, easy to get cheap and they do the job if they catch others and that's it, they went from being bosses to being whores.

    2. 8:02 they only control and produce the most cocaine in the world but some how they are just whores... Ok your 100% from sinaloa

    3. 12:22 you dumb mf Sinaloa now runs the show in cocaine producers. The majority work for Chapos or Mayos

    4. Humm🤔
      Since when do men get called whores?

  10. Beat them till they're blue to get the most information from them and put a slug in their cranium.
    All of them conspired to murder a politician.
    If their families want to bury their corpses they should go get them.


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