Fernando Villavicencio, a former journalist and lawmaker, was a vocal advocate against organized crime and corruption in Ecuador.
He was gunned down by unidentified assailants at a campaign event on Wednesday evening.
President Guillermo Lasso has declared a two-month state of emergency and three days of national mourning.
He has vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice and has urged Ecuadorians to turn out to vote in the upcoming election.
The assassination has highlighted the growing problem of political violence in Ecuador.
In recent years, the country has experienced a sharp rise in drug-related violence. The murder rate has surged fourfold over the past half-decade.
Villavicencio’s death is a major blow to the opposition in the upcoming election.
He was seen as a rising star in Ecuadorian politics and was one of the few candidates who was willing to take on the country’s powerful drug cartels.
It remains to be seen how Villavicencio’s assassination will impact the election.
However, it is clear that this event has plunged Ecuador into a period of political uncertainty.
We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest updates.