The United Nations has strongly condemned the assassination of a presidential candidate in Ecuador, urging authorities to investigate the crime.
Fernando Villavicencio, 59, was shot dead after leaving a campaign rally at a school in the capital, Quito, on Wednesday evening, according to news reports.
Nine other people were injured, including a candidate for the legislature and two police officers.
The attack occurred just two weeks before the election on 20 August and amid an escalation of violence and crime.
The UN system in Ecuador called for an investigation “so that there is no sense of impunity, and to redouble efforts to stop this wave of violence that is sadly affecting all the country’s population,” said UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq, speaking in New York on Thursday.
From Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, condemned what he called “this shocking criminal act”.
He stressed the importance of promptly carrying out a transparent, thorough, and independent investigation to hold those responsible to account.