The city elects a man as mayor a day after he was murdered amid a violent crime wave in Ecuador

Residents of a city in western Ecuador elected a man as their new mayor on Sunday, just hours after his assassination. Mayoral candidate Omar Menendez received more than 46% of the vote in Sunday’s polls in Puerto Lopez.

A file photo from his Facebook page shows Omar Menendez, a mayoral candidate in the city of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador, on the campaign trail.

Facebook/Omar Menendez

Menendez was fatally shot by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles in an office building on Sunday evening, hours before polls opened. A 16-year-old boy was also hit in the attack and died from his wounds.

On Monday, Menendez was buried in the local cemetery after being declared the winner of the election. The regional office of his political party, Citizen’s Revolution, accepted his victory and said another member, Verónica Isabel Lucas Marcillo, would step in to fill the post of mayor on Menendez’s behalf.

The wife of the slain politician, Génesis Gonzáles, posted a message on her Facebook page on Sunday paying tribute to Menendez.

“You taught me to love, learn and move on. Not to be afraid, but you never taught me how to do it without you,” Gonzáles said in the Post.

She said her husband only ever strived to make his city better for the people, and she was sure she would see him again — and if she did, she promised to tell him how the people of Puerto López saw him would have supported until the end end.

Menendez was the second candidate in a local mayoral election to be assassinated in Ecuador in two weeks — part of a much broader process a spate of murders and violence linked to organized crime.

Local elections on Sunday coincided with a national referendum to decide whether Ecuador should allow its citizens to be extradited to other nations over allegations of links to organized crime.

After 10 hours of voting on Sunday, no results were announced and authorities have 10 days to count the ballots and then announce the results of the referendum.

Ecuador’s conservative President Guillermo Lasso has proposed changing the country’s constitution to allow extraditions to deal with the violent crime tide sweeping the country, including the killings of politicians.

Located between Colombia and Peru, the world’s two largest producers of cocaine, Ecuador has in recent years developed itself into a hub for the global drug trade.

17 arrested in fentanyl bust in connection with cartels


Despite having no large proprietary drug plantations or cartels, or large cocaine refining laboratories, Ecuador is ranked by the United States among the top 22 drug producing or transit countries in the world.

Drugs manufactured elsewhere are shipped from the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil to the United States, Europe and Asia. This has led to a bloody territorial war between gangs – some with ties to Mexican cartels according to authorities – brutally killing each other on the streets and in Ecuador’s overcrowded prisons.

According to official figures, the country’s homicide rate almost doubled between 2021 and 2022, from 14 to 25 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. The city elects a man as mayor a day after he was murdered amid a violent crime wave in Ecuador

Rick Schindler

World Time Todays is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button