Crime & Justice

US offers $5 million for information on the murder of Fernando Villavicencio in Ecuador

New York, United States, Sept 28 (EFE).- The United States Department of State on Thursday announced a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of the “co-conspirators and masterminds” behind the murder of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio during a campaign rally in Quito on Aug. 9.

The US also offered up to $1 million for information leading to the identification or location of high-ranking members of the criminal group responsible for the candidate’s assassination.

The FBI is assisting Quito in the investigation, in which Ecuadorian authorities have already arrested six Colombians believed to be part of an organized criminal group.

“The United States will continue to support the people of Ecuador and work to bring to justice individuals who seek to undermine democratic processes through violent crime,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Villavicencio, a 59-year-old journalist who was highly critical of organized crime, had reported threats days before his death from José Adolfo Macías Villamar, alias “Fito,” an alleged leader of Los Choneros, a group with ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

So far, Washington has been cautious in attributing responsibility for the assassination to any one group.

In its statement on Thursday, the State Department said only that “the investigation continues to identify others involved in the assassination”.EFE


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