© Portal. FILE PHOTO. Ecuador’s presidential candidate Luisa González speaks to journalists in front of a radio station in Quito. August 2023. Portal/Karen Toro
By Alexandra Valencia
QUITO, Sept 1 (Portal) – Ecuador’s presidential candidate Luisa González, who won elections in the first round, said on Friday that her life was in danger so she would wear a bulletproof vest and have the protection of the armed forces country.
Violence and crime have increased on Ecuador’s streets and prisons as the government fights against bloodshed, blaming gang disputes linked to drug trafficking and ordinary crime.
The ongoing election campaign, which enters its second round on October 15, has been marred by the assassination of anti-corruption candidate Fernando Villavicencio, a fact that is still under investigation.
“I was forced to wear a bulletproof vest and accept the government’s offer that the armed forces would also provide me with security,” González said at a meeting with tour operators in Otavalo, Imbabura province.
“It is regrettable to have to conduct a political campaign in a situation in which a candidate has been assassinated and in which today I receive death threats against my life, since I am the candidate most likely to become President of the Republic,” González added .
The capital was even rocked by two car bombs on Wednesday evening. These were acts of violence which, according to the authorities, could be linked to control operations in prisons, including prisoner transport.
Ecuador’s attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into a citizen who claimed to have attacked González’s life with bombs, according to a statement from his Revolución Ciudadana party.
González, a protégé of former President Rafael Correa who has promised to revive his social programs, won 33.6% of the vote in the first round of voting last month. In the runoff he will face young entrepreneur Daniel Noboa, who came second in the first round.
The candidate said that if elected, she would declare a state of emergency for the security sector and immediately provide $500 million to reinforce public forces with equipment.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia. Editing by Marion Giraldo)