The journalist was a fierce denouncer of the president convicted of bribery. According to Correa, the assassination was a right-wing plot to prevent his return to power.
A few days before the most violent general elections in the history of Ecuador, former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) charged against the murdered presidential candidate Fernando Villavicenciohis fiercest adversary in complaints about corruption in the country, and maintained that the missing journalist was an informant for the CIA, the United States intelligence agency.
According to Correa, a fugitive from Ecuadorian justice after being sentenced to 8 years for corruption, the murder of Villavicencio a week ago at the end of a political act in Quito It is “a right-wing conspiracy” to harm the chances of the candidate of his Revolucion Ciudadana party, Luisa Gonzalez, in the elections next Sunday.
Gonzalez led the polls for the elections until before the assassination, but then the image of correismo was badly damaged when public opinion associated the assassination of the candidate with the denunciations that he had launched against Correa while he was alive.
In an interview from Mexico with the Spanish news agency EFE, Correa declared: “It was always said that Villavicencio was an informant for the CIA And when he rises too high a profile with these informants, when his ambitions are overflowing and he wants to be president, he is also a hindrance to the CIA,” he said.
“Only a political catastrophe could prevent our victory in a single round and that catastrophe was the brutal murder of a staunch adversary of ours, Fernando Villavicencio. He was in fourth or fifth place (in the polls). Then I served them more dead than alive”, maintained the former president, who lives in self-exile in Belgium, his wife’s country.
Although there are six Colombian hitmen detained for the assassination, Correa points out the alleged role of Fausto Salinas, General Commander of the National Police, and Patricio Carrillo, former Minister of the Interior and now a candidate for legislator. He even linked them to the CIA as well.
“They create a whole narrative that we had threatened Villavicencio and we are guilty of the murder. And that, of course, has hit our candidacy very hard and has moved the electoral board, but it is something unheard of, ”he indicated.
According to Correa, the candidate “they led into a death tr to be riddled with bullets and handed over to the assassins” arguing that the videos show that, just before the attack in Quito, they put him in a car that is not his, that it was not armored and that it lacked a driver.
Villavicencio’s murder occurred a week ago when Colombian hitmen shot him three times as he was getting into a car after leaving a political rally. He later died in a clinic.
Before plying, Villavicencio was the staunchest denouncer against Correa. One of his journalistic investigations brought the former president to justice by uncovering a plot of bribes from businessmen. For this case, Correa was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison and disqualification in the “Bribes 2012-2016” case, after which he fled from justice, taking refuge in Belgium. Villavicencio called him “the fugitive.”
In 2014, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted Villavicencio precautionary measures after being sentenced to 18 months in prison for insulting Correa, who sued him. Later, a judge ordered him jailed for allegedly reveal confidential information with hacked emails to the Correa administration to support investigations into corruption in oil deals.
So, took refuge in Lima until 2017 when he returned to the country under the government of Lenin Moreno (2017-2021), a former correista estranged from the former president.
Villavicencio (1963-2023) was a respected Ecuadorian journalist who began his career in trade unionism, social activism, and the moderate left, with the founding in 1995 of the Pachakutik indigenous movement.
This was the first time he had run for the presidency. after trying unsuccessfully in 2017. But in recent times it has defined itself as center and liberal, with a proposal to fight corruption and drug trafficking, to which the violence that has been taking place in Ecuador for more than two years is attributed. .
Nor did he stop attacking Correa in the middle of the campaign. Days before his murder, he denounced alleged irregularities in oil contracts.
Source: EFE, AFP and Clarin