A candidate for mayor who was assassinated on the eve of local elections in Ecuador won the election. Candidate Omar Menendez, 41, was elected mayor of the west coast city of Puerto Lopez hours after he was shot dead.
Reported AFP, Tuesday (7/2/2023), the results announced by the National Electoral Council (CNE) showed Menendez ahead. There was no time to remove his name and photo from the ballot.
His position will be replaced by someone appointed by his party. This was done under Ecuadorian law.
Menendez is the candidate for the Citizens’ Revolution movement of former left-wing president, Rafael Correa, who is now in the opposition. Correa, who lives under asylum in Belgium dedicated his party’s fine run in last Sunday’s election — winning at least seven of the 23 provincial prefectures and main cities of Quito and Guayaquil — to Menendez.
Correa was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2020 for corruption.
“This win is in memory of our friend Omar Menendez. A big hug to his family,” the former president wrote on Twitter Monday. He also expressed support for the family of a 16-year-old who died in the same attack.
Menendez was one of two mayoral candidates who died ahead of last Sunday’s local election in a country that has seen a sharp increase in criminal violence. This condition was triggered by a spiral war between drug gangs.
Julio Cesar Farachio, running for mayor in Salinas in the southwest, was also shot dead.
Provincial and local elections were held alongside a referendum allowing the currently banned extradition of Ecuadorians linked to organized crime.