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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comment by UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk on killing of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio in Ecuador

10 August 2023

Presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio participates in a campaign rally, minutes before being shot to death, in Quito, Ecuador, 09 August 2023.  © EPA-EFE/STRINGER

I condemn the killing of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio and the injuring of a number of other people in this shocking criminal act.

I note that an investigation has been opened. It is important to promptly and fairly undertake a transparent, thorough, and independent investigation to hold those responsible for this attack to account. Violence against political candidates is a serious threat to the electoral process and the people’s ability to express their democratic will.

In July, I expressed deep concern at the recent spike in violence in Ecuador, including attacks and threats against political candidates, other public figures, and journalists.

The appalling killing on Wednesday, which has left many in Ecuador and beyond distraught and grief-stricken, underscores the challenges the country and its people face amid the violence.

I urge the authorities to increase their efforts to strengthen protection measures for political candidates, public officers and journalists, and to protect people’s lives and personal integrity in line with international human rights standards to avoid the repetition of such a tragic crime.


For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected]or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence +  +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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