Ecuador candidates talk tough on crime after assassination - Times of India

QUITO :Ecuador’s presidential candidates promised enhancements in safety throughout a debate late on Sunday, days after their fellow hopeful Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated leaving a marketing campaign occasion.
The killing of the 59-year-old within the closing days of the marketing campaign has despatched shockwaves by way of the South American nation of 18 million folks, the place violent crime stoked by transnational gangs has risen sharply in recent times.
Villavicencio, an ex-lawmaker and investigative journalist with a file of exposing corruption, repeatedly mentioned he was not afraid of the gangs regardless of receiving threats.
An empty podium stood in Villavicencio’s place as a number of candidates promised an iron fist towards crime throughout the tumultuous debate, which moderators initially struggled to manage.
Luisa Gonzalez, who has led polling with about 30% of the vote, pledged a return to insurance policies carried out by her mentor, former President Rafael Correa, who left workplace in 2017 and was later convicted of corruption.
“We’ll return security on the streets, so they don’t kill us, with a firm hand against crime,” Gonzalez mentioned. “We are going to retake control of this country.”
Regulation and order candidate Jan Matter mentioned he would redirect $1.2 billion in earnings from police fines to a “zero tolerance” plan for safety.
“We’ll retake control of the 36 prisons and the northern and southern borders so that drug trafficking and illegal arms never come to our streets, equip and train our forces of order and integrate all the sources of intelligence,” Matter mentioned.
Professional-market candidate Otto Sonnenholzner additionally promised a tricky response on crime.
“We’ll back public forces, when a criminal raises a firearm against a citizen they will know they will get the bullet that they deserve,” Sonnenholzner mentioned.
Indigenous candidate Yaku Perez, who mentioned he’s the one candidate with a sophisticated regulation diploma, promised social enhancements and higher criminology information to tell coverage.
“We’re going to give conclusive answers to common crime and to organized crime,” Perez mentioned.
Earlier on Sunday, leaders of the Construct get together, or Construye in Spanish, introduced they might now go for Christian Zurita to interchange Villavicencio because the get together’s candidate, reversing their determination from Saturday to raise the get together’s vice presidential nominee.
Zurita can be a journalist who previously collaborated with Villavicencio.
Although he formally registered his candidacy for the Aug. 20 vote on Sunday, he nonetheless have to be permitted by the nationwide electoral authorities and couldn’t take part in Sunday’s debate.
“We’re going to try to emulate his abilities and we’re going to try to emulate his name,” Zurita mentioned at a press convention, referring to Villavicencio, whereas sporting a bullet-proof vest.
He emphasised he won’t negotiate with “any mafia.”
Whereas ballots for the election had already been printed previous to Villavicencio’s assassination, votes for him will mechanically switch to the get together’s alternative.
As the ultimate days of marketing campaign wind down, the seek for solutions into the slain candidate acquired an outdoor enhance.
Inside Minister Juan Zapata advised reporters earlier within the day {that a} group from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had met with police leaders and would within the ‘subsequent few hours’ meet with prosecutors from the legal professional common’s workplace who’re main the investigation into Villavicencio’s slaying.
Outgoing President Guillermo Lasso requested for FBI assist in the case on Thursday, the day after Villavicencio was shot a number of instances as he stepped right into a automotive.
Six Colombian nationals have been charged with the homicide and stay in custody whereas one different suspect died after an change of gunfire shortly after the homicide.

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