Ecuador arrests six Colombians in connection with assassination of presidential candidate

Authorities captured the six men in a Quito home.

Ecuadorian authorities announced on Thursday that they had arrested six Colombian nationals in connection with the Wednesday assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio.

The presidential candidate was a leading anti-corruption figure in the country and was seeking to lead Ecuador as the candidate for the Build Ecuador Movement in the Aug. 20 election. He was gunned down at a political rally in Quito.

Authorities captured the six men in a Quito home, the Associated Press reported. At the site, they discovered four shotguns, a rifle, ammunition, and grenades.

The motives and affiliations of the six individuals remain unclear as of press time, though Villavicencio had previously indicated that people associated with the Mexican Sinaloa cartel had threatened him. Ecuador has become subject to increased presence of drug cartels in recent years.

After Villavicencio's death, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso vowed to address the violent act, saying "I assure you that this crime will not go unpunished. Organized crime has gone too far, but they will feel the full weight of the law."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.