Suspect is in custody following Sunday assassination of Manta Mayor Agustín Intriago
Manta Mayor Agustín Intriago died Sunday afternoon following an armed attack at a public project inauguration ceremony. According to police, a female employee of the mayor’s office was also killed, and two others were injured by the gunfire.
The National Police command reports that one of the suspected shooters, injured in a shootout with Intriago’s bodyguard, is in custody. In addition, investigators say they seized explosives and a rifle in a pickup truck believed used in the attack.
Intriago was taken to Rodríguez Zambrano hospital in Manta following the shooting but died within an hour from gunshot wounds to the chest, doctors say.
Regional Police commander Alex Salgado said the motive for the assassination is “undetermined” but he suspects it is related to criminal gangs operating in the Manta area. “We will interrogate the suspect once he is treated for his wounds and expect to have more information Monday,” he said.
According to Salgado, the suspect is Venezuelan with no Ecuadorian arrest record.
In recent months, Intriago had denied charges he had connections to drug trafficking operations and the comptroller’s office said recently it was investigating possible money laundering in several municipal contracts supported by the mayor.
Sources at the Attorney General’s office report that Intriago’s ties to gang leader Leandro Norero, alias El Patrón, was under investigation. A leader of the Los Lobos gang, Norero was murdered in October 2022 during a riot at Cotopaxi prison.
Intriago, who is a lawyer with master’s degree in international trade and finance, was elected in February to his second term as Manta Mayor. His survivors include his wife and two children.