Ecuador is becoming a narco-state

Few political assassinations will have been as predictable as Fernando Villavicencio’s, the Ecuadorian presidential candidate and anti-corruption firebrand gunned down in Quito this week.  The brutal murder took place in a country that in recent decades has been largely free of serious political violence, notwithstanding the ferocious inter-party struggles that have seen both coups and the persecution and exile of opponents.  Yet Villavicencio, a 59-year-old former investigative journalist, did not just anticipate his demise – he repeatedly cited the death threats he was receiving from the drug traffickers he vowed to crack down on. And at times, he almost appeared to welcome the danger.  Just last week, he namechecked the