An Ecuadorean mayor has been shot dead and a bystander killed in an attack while he toured his city.
Agustín Intriago was hit several times by a gunman in Manta on Sunday. Ariana Estefanía Chancay, a local female footballer, also died.
Intriago’s wife, Rosita Saldarriaga, said her heart and that of her children had been “torn out” by the murder.
Police have yet to confirm a motive but said that Mr Intriago had reported receiving threats.
Ms Saldarriaga wrote on Twitter that “all Agustín did was to work for Manta, with devotion and total determination”. “He wanted our children and all the children of Manta to live in a better city and that’s why he gave all,” she added.
The mayor was shot several times by a gunman who had arrived in a stolen pick-up truck, officials said. He was pronounced dead in hospital.
The truck’s driver was injured in a pursuit and arrested, police commander Edwin Noguera told reporters. However, the gunman escaped.
Mr Intriago had been re-elected in February to a second four-year-term. He was inspecting a building site where a new sewer is being built when he was killed.
He had just been approached by Ms Chancay, a 29-year-old footballer for local club Las Dragonas, when the gunman opened fire.
Local media said Ms Chancay had wanted to ask the mayor for support for her amateur team.
The murder has shocked Ecuador, where attacks on elected officials had until recently been rare.
In February, a politician running for mayor in Puerto López was murdered just hours before polls opened.
Weeks earlier, the mayoral candidate in Salinas, another coastal town, had also been shot dead.
Port cities, such as Manta where Mr Intriago governed, have been worst hit by the surge in violence as rival gangs seek to control the ports to smuggle cocaine out of Ecuador to destinations as far away as the US and Europe.
Transnational crime gangs from Colombia and Mexico have infiltrated local Ecuadorean gangs and brought their violent tactics with them, security analysts say.
Source : BBC