Diana Salazar, the Attorney General of Ecuador, confirmed that the "Persons and Guarantees Unit" prosecutor was shot “in front of the La Merced building.”
"According to witnesses, the prosecutor was going to the judicial offices to start his daily work when a subject approached him and shot him several times... The murderer escaped on a motorcycle driven by another person," outlet Expreso reported.
On this occasion, the Ecuadorian security forces reacted quickly, undertook a pursuit of the motorcycle, and managed to arrest "two alleged perpetrators," as tweeted by the National Police a few minutes after the crime.
Momento desgarrador para la jueza Ana Veintimilla. Ella llegó a ver a su esposo el fiscal Edgar Escobar, asesinado afuera de la Fiscalía La Merced, en Víctor Manuel Rendón y Pedro Carbo, centro de #Guayaquil. pic.twitter.com/p5ByX5jmeJ
The tweet reads, "Heartbreaking moment for Judge Ana Veintimilla. She came to see her husband, Prosecutor Edgar Escobar, murdered outside the La Merced Prosecutor's Office, on Victor Manuel Rendon and Pedro Carbo streets, downtown Guayaquil."
So far this year, three prosecutors have been assassinated in this South American country. Two of the victims of contract killings died in Manabi, a coastal province where international drug trafficking networks operate.
Since 2019, however, "at least 45 judges have received threats and intimidation through letters, funeral bouquets, dead animals, messages and phone calls, among other forms of intimidation,” local outlet La Hora recalled, pointing out that gangs also escalated targeted killings against police officers in 2022.
On Sept. 13, President Guillermo Lasso again extended a 30-day "State of Emergency" in Guayaquil, a city which has become one of the main exit points for cocaine to the United States and Europe, according to the United Nations' latest World Drug Report.