Christian Zurita, the journalist who ran as a candidate after the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio, confirmed that his death occurred because his candidacy was a threat to the "political mafias." Zurita affirmed through his statements to the Ecuadorian media outlet Ecuavisa that he considers that the attack on Villavicencio was planned in advance, since the former candidate did not have much police protection on the day of his death.
According to local media, Zurita announced that Villavicencio was going to file a complaint against one of the presidential candidates, whose identity has not been revealed to the public, on the day of the presidential debate, but was unable to after he was assassinated. However, the journalist announced that he will complete this complaint before the Prosecutor's Office next Thursday. According to his statements, the journalist has confirmed that he plans to do justice to the death of his partner in the electoral campaign.
Like Villavicencio, Zurita is an investigative journalist known for exposing corruption in Ecuador. According to sources, the two men have worked together on more than 300 investigations over the past decade. “Until Saturday I was a journalist,” the candidate said in an interview, adding that Villavicencio would never have forgiven him if he had let the campaign die. "We do it for Fernando, we do it so that his voice is not silenced," said Zurita.
Zurita's candidacy in the place of Andrea González, the previous candidate proposed by the party, will be confirmed and signed by the National Electoral Council (CNE) this Wednesday. After the vice presidency Andrea González was unable to resign from her position to be a presidential candidate, Zurita was named as the candidate who will participate in the elections. If Zurita's candidacy is approved by the CNE, she will be able to compete in the presidential elections on August 20.
However, another party questions whether Zurita can replace Villavicencio, which may cause electoral authorities to revoke his approval. This prevents Zurita from using publicity to promote his campaign before the election evening. However, the CNE has confirmed that all votes for Villavicencio, which will appear on already printed ballots, will be counted for his replacement. "If they do not approve the candidacy, everything will have been in vain," said Zurita in his last statements. So far, the CNE has not received any objections to his candidacy.
The candidate announced some measures that he will implement if he reaches the presidential position, such as better equipping the police and implementing intelligence protocols to combat crime. In addition, the journalist mentioned that he will use international loans to reinforce social programs in Ecuador. According to the sources, Zurita's priority is to investigate the death of Villavicencio. “They already killed Fernando. There is no need for threats anymore. If they killed him, we know they're coming for us," the journalist commented.
Villavicencio was assassinated last week while leaving a campaign rally, and his sudden death left many voters wondering whether to run in the presidential election. According to Zurita's statements to Ecuavisa, Villavicencio was assassinated because his future presidency proposed many political changes for the country. According to local sources, Zurita plans to follow in the footsteps of his former partner to win the presidential elections next Sunday.