Diana Carnero, a 29-year-old councilwoman from Ecuador, was fatally shot in front of a crowd shortly after finishing a meeting. She had been recording a video about the poor road conditions in Naranjal, Guayas, when the attack occurred.
The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 7. Two men on a motorcycle approached her and shot her in the head before fleeing the scene.
The Ecuadorian authorities, including the Attorney General’s Office, are leading the investigation, but no arrests have been made yet.
Ecuador is facing a surge in crime linked to drug trafficking gangs. Last year, a presidential candidate was also assassinated in the country, and several other politicians have been targeted recently.
In response to the escalating violence, President Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency two weeks ago, authorizing the military to take action against the gangs. This has led to increased security measures, with soldiers patrolling the streets of major cities and many people staying indoors while schools and stores remain closed.
Carnero ran under the Citizen Revolution Movement, the democratic socialist political party that was formed by backers of former President Rafael Correa and was elected to the Naranjal city council in February 2023. Correa, who served as president from 2007 to 2017, paid tribute to Carnero on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
He wrote: “Diana was 29 years old. This is a nightmare. A hug to her family and all of Naranjal. When you have children of that age, you understand what their parents must be suffering. They cut short the life of a promise for Naranjal and the Homeland. What a disgrace!”
Guayaquil deputy mayor Blanca López also wrote on X, saying: “This must end, wanting better days for our cantons, provinces and country cannot mean putting our lives at risk.” Carnero’s assassination came just one day after Guayas Governor Alberto Molina met with law enforcement in Naranjal to address the recent wave of violence.
Councilman Charbel Rouhana, 50, was shot dead in front of his home in the coastal town of Yaguachi on October 24, 2023. Bolivar Vera, 42, a councilman in Durán, was found dead on September 8, a day after he was abducted. In August, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, 59, was assassinated after leaving a campaign event in Quito. In July, the mayor of Manta, Agustín Intriago, 38, was shot dead while inspecting works.