Ecuador’s youngest mayor shot dead

World

Ecuador’s youngest mayor and an aide were shot dead on Sunday, police in the South American country have said.

Brigitte Garcia, 27-year-old mayor of San Vicente, and her communications director Jairo Loor, were found dead in Manabi province, officers said.

Police added that the pair had both suffered gunshot wounds and that the gunfire had come from within the car, which was rented.

Ms Garcia – a member of former president Rafael Correa’s left-wing Citizen Revolution Movement party – is the latest political figure assassinated in Ecuador.

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Scene of Mayor shooting

Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was killed last August while leaving a campaign event two weeks before the election. He was a vocal critic of corruption and organised crime.

In July 2023, the mayor of Manta Agustin Intriago was murdered while touring a construction site.

Mr Correa and Luisa Gonzalez, the party’s presidential candidate in the recent elections, called Ms Garcia’s killing an assassination on social media platform X.

More on Ecuador

“I’ve just found out they’ve assassinated our fellow mayor of San Vicente Brigitte Garcia,” Mr Gonzalez said on social media.

“I have no words, in shock, nobody is safe in Ecuador NOBODY.”

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From February: Fighting drug cartels in the Pacific

In a statement, Ecuadorian president Daniel Noboa’s government condemned the killings and said it was working with police and the prosecutor’s office to ensure “immediacy in the investigation”.

He declared a state of emergency in January after armed men invaded a TV station during a live broadcast. Mr Noboa also designated 22 criminal groups as terrorist organisations.

The state of emergency was extended earlier in March.

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