Ecuadorian police released preliminary information in statements to local media stating that the attackers were members of a gang operating in Esmeraldas. Briones was reportedly shot twice in the park of San Mateo parish in the city of Esmeraldas.
Presidential candidate Luisa González denounced the attack through her official Twitter account: "Ecuador is living its bloodiest time. This is due to the total abandonment of an inept government and a State taken over by mafias. My solidarity embrace to the family of comrade Pedro Briones, fallen in the hands of violence. Change is urgent," González said.
Members of the political group Citizen Revolution confirmed that Briones was killed by a gunshot, although so far there is no official report from the authorities.
�� El dirigente político de Esmeraldas Pedro Briones de Revolución Ciudadana (RC5) fue asesinado en la parroquia de San Mateo, así lo confirmó la exasambleísta Paola Cabezas por un disparo. Según información previa, Briones estaba en un parque cuando fue interceptado por sujetos… pic.twitter.com/WkdWrCw0dH
The tweet reads, "The political leader of Esmeraldas Pedro Briones of Revolución Ciudadana (RC5) was killed in San Mateo parish, as confirmed by former Assemblywoman Paola Cabezas, by a gunshot. According to previous information, Briones was in a park when he was intercepted by armed individuals."
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has condemned the political violence in the South American country, noting that such situation is "framed in a context of serious deterioration of citizen security" due to organized crime.
The IACHR called on the government to act "with diligence" in the face of these violent events, which it considered "an attack on democracy."
This comes less than a week before the presidential elections are held and after the shooting death last week of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. The candidate of the Construye lista 25 (MC25) movement was shot several times in an armed attack during a campaign rally in northern Quito last Wednesday.