Young politician, 29, killed in broad daylight while filming video about roads

Friday, February 9, 2024
 – An Ecuadorian councilwoman was executed in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people just moments after she finished a meeting.

Diana Carnero, 29, was chairing the council meeting in the town of Naranjal in Guayas on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 7, and recording a video about the poor road conditions when she was attacked.

Two male suspects approached her on a motorcycle and shot her in the head before fleeing, police said.

Ecuador's Attorney General's Office said it would be leading the investigation but so far there have been no arrests.

Ecuador is in the grips of a crime wave tied to drug trafficking gangs.

Just last year, a presidential candidate was assassinated in Ecuador. Other Ecuadorian politicians have also been recently executed.

Two weeks ago President Daniel Noboa declared an emergency and a virtual war on the gangs by authorising the military to act against them. Many people are staying at home and schools and stores have been shuttered as soldiers patrol the streets of Ecuador’s biggest cities.

Carnero ran under the Citizen Revolution Movement, the democratic socialist political party that was formed by backers of former President Rafael Correa and was elected to the Naranjal city council in February 2023. Correa, who served as president from 2007 to 2017, paid tribute to Carnero on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

He wrote: "Diana was 29 years old. This is a nightmare. A hug to her family and all of Naranjal. When you have children of that age, you understand what their parents must be suffering. They cut short the life of a promise for Naranjal and the Homeland. What a disgrace!"

Guayaquil deputy mayor Blanca López also wrote on X, saying: "This must end, wanting better days for our cantons, provinces and country cannot mean putting our lives at risk." Carnero's assassination came just one day after Guayas Governor Alberto Molina met with law enforcement in Naranjal to address the recent wave of violence.

Councilman Charbel Rouhana, 50, was shot dead in front of his home in the coastal town of Yaguachi on October 24, 2023. Bolivar Vera, 42, a councilman in Durán, was found dead on September 8, a day after he was abducted. In August, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, 59, was assassinated after leaving a campaign event in Quito. In July, the mayor of Manta, Agustín Intriago, 38, was shot dead while inspecting works.

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