In a shocking incident that has heightened tensions ahead of Ecuador’s general elections, the mayor of La Libertad, Francisco Tamariz, survived an attempted assassination on Saturday. The attack occurred merely a day before the nation was set to head to the polls.
Mayor Tamariz, hailing from the coastal city, recounted his harrowing experience, revealing that he miraculously emerged unscathed from the assault. Gunmen targeted his vehicle on Friday evening, unleashing a barrage of approximately 30 gunshots. Taking to social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), he declared, “They tried to kill me,” while emphasizing that over eight witnesses had observed the alarming shooting incident.
The backdrop of this incident is Ecuador’s imminent presidential election, scheduled to take place on Sunday. This electoral cycle has been marred by grave challenges, including the tragic assassination of a prominent candidate, underscoring the rampant lawlessness gripping the nation.
Ecuador has transformed into a hotspot for foreign drug cartels seeking to exploit its shores for cocaine exportation, thereby triggering a brutal and violent conflict among local gangs. This surge in drug-related activities has propelled the country’s murder rate to surpass even those of notorious drug hubs like Mexico and Colombia.
As the nation grapples with these alarming developments, a series of targeted killings has targeted politicians in the lead-up to the election. Among these high-profile casualties was Fernando Villavicencio, a presidential hopeful renowned for his anti-corruption efforts. Tragically, Villavicencio was gunned down in broad daylight shortly after leaving a political rally, leaving the nation in shock and highlighting the immense challenges that Ecuador’s leaders confront.
The attempted assassination of Mayor Tamariz serves as a chilling reminder of the precarious security situation in the country and the critical need for comprehensive measures to restore order and safeguard the democratic process.