Mayoral candidate posthumously elected hours after murder
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A mayoral candidate in Ecuador was posthumously elected hours after he was assassinated during a meeting with campaign staff, reports said.

Omar Menéndez, 41, of Puerto López, was fatally shot Saturday when gunmen burst into a room where he was convening with staffers shortly before polls opened, the BBC reported.

Just hours after the tragedy, Menéndez, a leftist candidate with the Citizen Revolution movement, was elected the city’s mayor. He is set to be replaced by another member of his party.

A teenager was also killed in the attack. Though the motive remains unclear, the shooting comes amid a wave of drug-related violence in Ecuador.

The outlet confirmed that no arrests had been made, though the suspects were seen fleeing on a motorbike.

Mayoral candidate Omar Menéndez smiles at the camera and waves. He is pictured from the waist up, wearing a white button-down collared shirt.
Omar Menéndez was gunned down on Saturday, just hours before he was elected mayor.
Facebook/Omar Menéndez

In a statement shared on Twitter, conservative President Guillermo Lasso condemned Menéndez’s killing.

“The assassination of candidate Omar Menéndez will not go unpunished,” he wrote.

“We reject all kinds of violence. Drug trafficking and organized crime have no place in Ecuador.”

Omar Menéndez smiles holding a small plaque or award.
Menéndez is set to be replaced by another member of his party.
Facebook/Omar Menéndez

Menéndez’s assassination was also preceded by the shooting death of Salinas mayoral candidate Julio César Farachio, 45, two weeks ago.

Police have made an arrest in Farachio’s killing, according to the BBC. The suspect was reportedly recently released from prison after serving a sentence for drug trafficking.

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