- BBC World News
The murder in Ecuador of the popular 36-year-old television presenter Efraín Ruales caused such a level of commotion that even President Lenín Moreno gave instructions for “the investigation to proceed with the greatest speed.”
That is what President Moreno said on his Twitter account after the news broke that Ruales had been assassinated this Wednesday while driving his truck down an avenue in the north of Guayaquil.
The police reported that Ruales had received four gunshot wounds and although they did not clarify the motive for the attack, they did. initially ruled out what was itase of a robbery after checking that all his belongings were in the car.
After the news of the death was known, the newspaper El Universo published a video last year in which the presenter denounced having received a death threat for his allegations of corruption.
“We cannot say if there were threats or not, we are in the investigative process. The first hypothesis could not be said to be a robbery,” César Zapata, a commander of the National Police, told reporters.
The BBC Mundo collaborator in Ecuador, Matías Zibell, said that the death of the communicator caused a stir in the country, which is experiencing a climate of tension due to scandals associated with the coronavirus vaccine and the proximity of the elections.
“The assassination of Efraín Ruales further strains the social and political climate in Ecuador, which is preparing this February 7 to elect a new president. It makes the scenario even more complex a few days after electing a new president,” he says.
What about the murder?
Commander Zapata reported that Ruales had been with his girlfriend in a gym from where he left at seven in the morning, “each one was going home.”
Shortly after leaving, about 600 meters from the gym according to local media, the presenter was attacked from another vehicle.
According to Zapata, three bullet holes were found on the driver’s side, another on the right side at the height of the window.
According to Matías Zibell, a news item was initially released stating that Ruales’s death occurred before he testified in a corruption case during the pandemic, but the authorities denied it.
Who was Efraín Ruales
Ruales, 36, was one of the most charismatic characters on a variety show on Ecuavisa television.
As an actor, he participated in numerous series and local television programs, including “Solteros sin Compromiso”, “La panadería” and “Así pasa!”
Besides being an actor, he was also one of the most influential figures on social media in the country where he often posted “comic recordings.”
The Minister of Government, Patricio Pazmiño, described the murder of Ruales as “regrettable” and indicated that the police and their specialized units would deploy “all the actions” of investigation to determine the causes.
Dozens of authorities, followers and fellow union members of Ruales spoke on social networks, moved by the fact.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.