British tourists have been alerted of a 60-day state of emergency declared in Ecuador after a presidential candidate was shot dead following a campaign rally in Quito.
The state of emergency occurred before the legislative and presidential elections which were due to take place on August 20.
President Guillermo Lasso stated that the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was an attempt to sabotage the election, and he insisted that the voting would still be taking place.
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice for Ecuador, which now states, “The state of emergency that was announced for Manabí, Los Ríos, and the Durán district in Guayas province on 24 July has been superseded by the new nationwide state of emergency issued on 10 August. There is no curfew in place under the new decree.
“British Nationals are advised to avoid potential demonstrations, large gatherings and political gatherings.
“You should also be aware of the potential for increased police and military presence in the streets due to the 60-day state of emergency declared by the president on 10 August.
“Street demonstrations, protests and strikes are common. Although most are peaceful, they can turn violent. You should monitor local media and avoid all large gatherings.”
The FCDO already advises against all but essential travel to areas within 20km of the Ecuadorean border with Colombia.
Travel to the region “carries significant risks due to the presence of organised crime linked to the production and trafficking of drugs”.
In light of recent events, the Foreign Office advised the Britons currently visiting the South American country to avoid potential demonstrations, large groups and political gatherings.
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