Guayaquil hit team misses its target, kills Peruvian woman by mistake; Moreno takes a shot at Ecuadorians; Former health minister censured

May 6, 2021 | 6 comments

Four gunmen, two dressed as policemen, entered a hospital in Guayaquil Wednesday morning and killed a Peruvian woman they mistook for their intended target. The armed men asked the nurses at a reception desk for the room number of the man they intended to kill but it turned out he was released on Tuesday. The victim had been assigned the room that Tuesday night.

President Lenin Moreno’s Miami joke falls flat.

César Zapata, Zone 8 National Police commander, said the murder was probably part of a contract killing case related to a drug deal gone wrong. The unnamed target, survived another attack by gunmen two weeks ago in Posorja, a parish near Guayaquil.

In the investigation, police have recovered two guns, 16 spent rounds of ammunition and an abandoned car believed used the the hit team. Zapata said police have strong leads and expect to capture the culprits.

Moreno takes a shot at Ecuadorians, sets off social media furor
“People tell me they wish they had a better president and I tell them I wish I had better people,” President Lenin Moreno said Wednesday in a speech at the Defense of Democracy in the Americas conference in Miami. The comment set off a firestorm on social media and was attacked by radio and television commentators. Later, Moreno said he was joking.

Assembly censures former health minister
The National Assembly has censured former health minister Juan Carlos Zevallos for failure to perform his duties and for botching Ecuador’s vaccination program against the Covid-19 virus. The Wednesday vote was 129 to 1. The censure prevents Zevallos, who served as health minister for two years, from holding public office in the future.

The Assembly based its verdict on nine charges, non-compliance in the purchase of vaccines and misallocation of vaccines being the most serious. Zevallos attended the hearing via Zoom from Miami where he is currently living.

The Assembly turned the case over the attorney general for possible prosecution.