A conservative candidate for president in Ecuador has been assassinated at a campaign rally.
According to opinion polls, Villavicencio's support was at 7.5%, ranking him fifth out of eight presidential candidates for the August 20 vote.
Villavicencio, from the Andean province of Chimborazo, was a former union member at state oil company Petroecuador and later a journalist who denounced alleged millions in oil contract losses, reported Reuters.
"For his memory and his fight, I assure you that this crime will not remain unpunished," Current President Lasso said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. "Organized crime have gone very far, but all the weight of the law will fall on them."
"Today more than ever, the need to act with a strong hand against crime is reiterated. May God have him in his glory," fellow presidential hopeful Jan Topic said in a post on X.