According to a report from CBS news, six inmates at the Litoral Penitentiary, all of whom were suspects in the August assassination of a presidential candidate in Ecuador, were killed on Oct. 6.
The inmates, all Colombian nationals, were accused of killing former presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. They were identified as: Jhon Gregore R., Andrés Manuel M., Adey Fernando G., Camilo Andrés R., Sules Osmini C. and José Neyder L.
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced that he would immediately convene the Security Cabinet, expressing his commitment to uncovering the truth behind the incidents, emphasizing there would be no complicity or cover-up in the investigation.
“Following the information about the six crimes that occurred in the Deprivation of Liberty Center No. 1, in Guayaquil, I have ordered an immediate meeting of the Security Cabinet,” Lasso wrote on X, according to the site’s translation system. “In the next few hours I will return to Ecuador to attend to this emergency. Neither complicity nor cover-up, here the truth will be known.”
Litoral Penitentiary is Ecuador’s largest prison, and one of its most dangerous. Over the past three years, there have been frequent and deadly riots. The investigation into Villavicencio’s murder was approaching its conclusion when one such riot occurred in the prison, raising questions about its potential impact in the upcoming case.
Villavicencio was murdered on Aug. 9, when he was shot dead while leaving a political rally. While he hadn’t been considered a front-runner in the presidential race, the assassination in broad daylight just weeks prior to the election was shocking to the nation. He reportedly had received threats from associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel prior to his murder, CBS reported.
Law enforcement agencies in the nation, including the public prosecutor’s office, police and the military, initiated security protocols in response to the killings while specialized military personnel were dispatched to conduct reconnaissance and regain control of Cellblock 7 where the incident took place, according to France 24.
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