A seventh accused in the murder of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was killed in a prison in Quito, the country’s prison system reported on Saturday, a day after confirming the killing of the other six said who are murderers.
The National Service for Comprehensive Attention to Adult Persons Deprived of Liberty (SNAI) reported in a statement about the death of the seventh inmate, although it did not provide further details. He also did not mention his nationality and only identified himself as “José M.”.
Authorities have not revealed who was behind the killings or how they might have happened in the same prisons.
These murders led President Guillermo Lasso to hold a last-minute meeting with his security cabinet to analyze the situation in prisons, causing him to suspend his activities planned for the coming days in South Korea. .
After the meeting, the Government decided to transfer six other suspects who were investigated for their connection to the murder to another prison, reported in a statement from the Ministry of Communication. It was not disclosed which prison they were sent to “to ensure their safety,” he said.
The top police commander, General Fausto Salinas, was also removed, to be replaced by a new commander, César Zapata. It was also decided to separate the director of Police investigations and remove him from active service, in addition to removing the SNAI director.
Meanwhile, the director of the penitentiary has been arrested and a criminal complaint will be filed against him, the report added.
The first six alleged killers who were killed on Friday were Colombians and were arrested a few hours after the Villavicencio crime, on August 9 in Quito. All the prisoners are in the Litoral Penitentiary, in the city of Guayaquil and considered the most dangerous prison in the Andean country.
The Colombian Foreign Ministry condemned in a statement on Saturday the killing of six of its citizens and offered its support to the Ecuadorian authorities in the investigations to “clarify this fundamental fact.”
In a statement released to local media, Villavicencio’s daughters, Amanda and Tamia, rejected the murders and criticized the Government for taking “the possibility that these subjects may have guided the investigation to find- are the masterminds.”
The homicides, they added, “reflect the level of penetration of Organized Crime into Government Institutions, which apparently cannot guarantee due process.”
The Ecuadorian Prosecutor’s Office reported the other day that it was conducting autopsies to determine the causes of the deaths, although it did not release the results.
The murdered Colombians were identified as Jhon Gregore R., Andrés Manuel M., Adey Fernando G., Camilo Andrés R., Sules Osmini C. and José Neyder L., who weeks before gave their statement from Guayaquil in a hearing requested by the Prosecutor’s Office and regarding this no details have been released.