Olympic gold medalist to run for mayor, Correa supporters plan protest march, Bodies may be those of kidnapped couple

Jul 4, 2018

Olympic gold medalist to run for Cuenca mayor

Jefferson Perez, a one-time Parque Calderon shoe-shine boy who became Ecuador’s only Olympic gold medalist, is preparing his campaign for Cuenca mayor. On Tuesday, he requested a certificate from the National Electoral Council (CNE) to make his candidacy official. Perez, who won the Olympic gold medal in the speedwalking competition in Atlanta in 1996, recently earned his master’s degree in public administration in Madrid. Perez, who is 44, said last week that he would make an official announcement within days. Earlier this week, he released a video which appears to be an advertisement for his candidacy. Perez is a member of the Renace party which qualified last week to participate in the 2019 elections.

Correa supporters to march against Moreno

Members of the Movimiento Revolución Ciudadana, the organization supporting former president Rafael Correa, plan to march July 5 in Quito to protest the policies of President Lenin Moreno. The march, called “Indignant Ecuador,” is also to intended to protest what organizers call the “persecution” of Correa. “This march will include the participation of all citizens whose rights are being violated by the current government,” said national assemblywoman Grabiela Rivadeneira. She said that the march will be a peaceful demonstration of the “people’s discontent” and will launch a “warning to the government that organized citizens are ready to mobilize” for their rights and for an end to unfair treatment of the former president.

Bodies may be those of kidnapped couple

Colombian military sources say that bodies recovered on Monday are probably those of an Ecuadorian couple kidnapped in April in southern Colombia. The Óliver Sinisterra Front, a former FARC guerilla unit turned drug traffickers, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Relatives of Óscar Villacís and Katty Vanessa Velasco have been informed of the recovery and have traveled to Colombia where DNA tests are being conducted to confirm the identities. The bodies were discovered near the city of Tumaco, close to the location where the bodies of three Quito journalists were found two weeks ago.

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