An Ecuadorian congressional candidate survived an assassination after a gunman shot at her just one day after a presidential candidate was murdered following a campaign event.
Estefany Puente revealed that she was driving a vehicle with her father and a campaign staffer when two men aboard a motorcycle opened fire on Thursday in Queveo, a city in the province of Los Ríos.
Shots fired by one of the suspects grazed Puente’s left arm and also shattered the car’s front shield window. Her father and a campaign staffer were in the car as well and were not injured.
‘Today I have been the victim of an attack against my integrity,’ Puente wrote on her Facebook.
Estefany Puente, who is running for a seat in Ecuador’s National Assembly, was grazed by a bullet on the left arm after two suspects approached her car on a motorcycle and opened fire Thursday. The incident took place one day after presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassination outside a school where he had held a campaign event
The car belonging to Ecuadorian National Assembly candidate Estefany Puente was shot at multiple times Thursday in Quevedo, a city in the province of Los Ríos
As of Friday, authorities in Ecuador had not made arrests following an assassination attempt against National Assembly candidate Estefany Puente
The politician, who is running for a National Assembly seat, said the attack was the latest example of what residents in Quevedo, Los Ríos and in all of Ecuador are experiencing because they ‘have been forgotten by an inoperative government, wrapped in corruption, mafias, the result of previous governments (of the fugitives) and the current one, of those who negotiate with criminal groups and are protected by such.’
DailyMail.com reached out to Puente for comment.
Authorities were reviewing surveillance cameras in the area in hopes of identifying the suspects, who were still on the run as of Friday afternoon.
Puente, who previously sought office in the Quevedo city council, is running under the Popular Unity Movement, said she remained determined to continue to work with the party’s presidential candidate Yaku Pérez to root out corruption from public institutions and jailed ‘white collar’ criminals.
The attack comes as Ecuador was still reeling from the assassination of Fernando Villavicencio on Wednesday.
The 59-year-old, who was running under the Build Ecuador Movement, was being escorted out of a school gym in Quito when he was shot moments after he stepped inside a vehicle.
Ecuadorian Presidential Fernando Villavicencio was murdered Wednesday outside a school gym where he had held a campaign event. He said August 1 that he and his team had been threatened by a drug trafficking gang. He is pictured at the rally on Wednesday
Ecuadorian authorities have six suspects from Colombia in custody linked to Wednesday’s assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio. A seventh suspect , also from Colombia, was wounded in a shootout with police and died while he was in an ambulance rushing him to a hospital
President Guillermo Lasso said the suspects threw a grenade into the street while escaping. but it did not explode. Police later destroyed the grenade with a controlled explosion.
One Colombian suspect died following a shootout with the police and six others were arrested. A judge ordered them held in preventive custody for 30 days.
Court records showed that the six suspects were charged with illicit trafficking of substances. Two of the defendants were charged July 5 with reception of stolen goods.
All the men had previous criminal records in Ecuador and Colombia, an Ecuadorean police spokesperson said.
A search of the public records database run by the Colombian police listed three of the men as having no criminal record, while the remaining three were listed as ‘currently not required by any judicial authority.’
Ecuadorian congressional candidate Estefany Puente survived an assassination attempt on Thursday. She was grazed by a bullet on the left arm
Estefany Puente, a candidate for Ecuador’s National Assembly, talks with witnesses near her vehicle after gunmen opened fire
A week before his murder, Villavicencio participated in a virtual interview with Colombian television news network NTN24 and revealed that he had been threatened by the Sinaloa Cartel, the notorious Mexican criminal organization founded by the jailed drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, and one of its main associates in Ecuador, José ‘Fito’ Macías, the jailed boss of Los Choneros gang.
Villavicencio, a married father of five, said the menaces were the byproduct of a campaign pledge to tear down criminal organizations who were linked to political figures.
‘What these threats that come from the Sinaloa Cartel do is demonstrate is that our government program is a program that precisely aims to break and dismantle these criminal drug trafficking structures in collusion with political actors, and this is perhaps the most important thing,’ he said.
Ecuador’s Interior Minister Juan Zapata said the killing was a ‘political crime of a terrorist nature’ seeking to disrupt the August 20 elections.
Lasso declared three days of national mourning and a state of emergency that involves deploying additional military personnel throughout the country.
In his final speech before he was killed, Villavicencio promised a roaring crowd that he would fight corruption, including among police forces, and imprison more criminals.
‘Here I am showing my face. I´m not scared of them,’ Villavicencio said in a statement before his death, naming Macías by his alias, ‘Fito.’