An election poster with Fernando Villavicencio An election poster with Fernando Villavicencio  (AFP or licensors)

Pope Francis condemns 'unjustifiable violence' in Ecuador

In a telegram of condolence over the murder of Ecuadoran presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, Pope Francis expresses his sorrow and calls on the nation's political leaders and citizens to unite in favour of peace.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Pope Francis has appealed on the political forces and citizens of Ecuador to unite "in a common effort for peace".

The Pope sent a telegram, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, to Archbishop Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus of Quito, on Saturday.

He expressed his sorrow over the assassination of the country's presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, while condemning "the unjustifiable violence" that causes suffering.

A united effort for peace

The Pope then offered his condolences to the Archbishop, to the family of the deceased "and to all the beloved people of Ecuador," inviting "citizens and political forces to unite in a common effort for peace".

Entrusting Fernando Villavicencio's repose to the "maternal intercession of Our Lady of El Quinche," the Pope offered his apostolic blessing "as a sign of faith and hope in the Risen Christ."

The murder of Villavicencio

Fernando Villavicencio, a journalist and centrist candidate for president of Ecuador, was gunned down on 9 August in the capital Quito at the end of an election rally.

He had spoken out strongly against the power of gangs and cartels, and his murder has been claimed by local organized crime.

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12 August 2023, 13:38