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News > Ecuador

Hitmen Assassinate the Mayor of Ponce Enriquez in Ecuador

  • Late Mayor Jose Sanchez.

    Late Mayor Jose Sanchez. | Photo: X/ @InfoElRegional

Published 18 April 2024

His death occurred just three weeks after other hitmen killed the mayor of San Vicente City.

On Wednesday night, Juan Lloret, the prefect of the province of Azuay, confirmed that hitmen shot and killed Jose Sanchez, the mayor of Camilo Ponce Enriquez.


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"We express our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the dignified and noble people who elected him, while demanding that authorities find those responsible for this new crime that mourns Azuay and Ecuador," Lloret said.

In the attack against Sanchez, two other people were also killed, according to local media. However, this information has not been officially confirmed at this time.

Previously, Sanchez had reported to the press and the Attorney General an attack on his residence on the night of October 2, 2023.

Located near the Ecuadorian coast, the municipality of Camilo Ponce Enriquez faces problems of illegal mining around the Guanache River. Sanchez, who also had business dealings related to mining, promised to solve these problems by formalizing miners.

His death occurred three weeks after other hitmen shot and killed Brigitte Garcia, the mayor of San Vicente, a city located in the province of Manabi.

Earlier this year, President Daniel Noboa declared an "internal armed conflict" against 22 gangs linked to drug trafficking, all of which have been defined as "terrorist groups" and "non-state belligerent actors."

These organized crime groups are also linked to other illicit activities such as illegal mining, money laundering, kidnapping, and extortion.

According to the latest official records, Ecuador has a homicide rate of 45 people per 100,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most unsafe countries in Latin America.

The Sanchez murder occurred three days before the referendum called by Noboa to carry out reforms to laws related to the participation of the armed forces in the fight against organized crime, the flexibilization of labor forms, and international arbitration in foreign investments.


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