Ecuador mayor Brigitte Garcia found dead in car amid nation-wide escalations of violence News
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Ecuador mayor Brigitte Garcia found dead in car amid nation-wide escalations of violence

Ecuador’s youngest mayor, Brigitte Garcia, and her director of communications, Jairo Loor, were found shot dead in a car in San Vicente Canton early on Sunday, Ecuadorian police reported to local media outlets.

Garcia, who was initially reported missing on Saturday, was found by local authorities after they used the GPS installed in Garcia’s rental car to track her exact location. Following the preliminary investigation of the crime scene, Ecuadorian police took to X (formerly Twitter) to inform the public of their initial findings.

“After the first investigative procedures, it has been established that the shots that ended the lives of Jairo L. and Brigitte G. would not have been fired from the outside of the vehicle, but from the inside,” Ecuadorian police said. Further findings have not yet been shared.

This is the second violent crime that has taken place against a mayor in less than a year. Last year, Manta’s Mayor Agustín Intriago was shot six times while visiting a construction site on July 23.

This escalation in violent crime comes amid the country’s current state of emergency, declared by Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa in several of the country’s provinces in response to increasing violence and crime perpetrated by drug-trafficking gangs.

Decree No. 110, the instrument used by President Noboa to establish the state of emergency,  suspended the right of Ecuadorian civilians to assemble, established a curfew from 11 PM to 5 AM, and allowed the intervention of the National Police and the Armed Forces throughout the country as well as in all the detention centers. The state of emergency was subsequently extended for an additional 30 days due to “serious internal disturbance and internal armed conflict” on March 7.