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TV presenter, 36, who received death threats for reporting on corruption, is assassinated in Ecuador

Horrifying moment TV presenter, 36, who has previously received death threats for reporting on corruption, is assassinated during a drive-by-shooting in Ecuador

  • Efraín Ruales was gunned down in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Wednesday morning
  • Video shows a car pulling up to the 36-year-old’s SUV as shots were fired from it
  • Ruales worked as a host for Ecuadorian television network Ecuavisa
  • Local media outlets reported that Ruales in the past had received death threats for reporting on corruption 
  • Authorities have not provided a motive or made any arrests in connection to the murder 

A television host, who had denounced corruption in previous reports, was assassinated during a drive-by-shooting in Ecuador.

Efraín Ruales, 36, was on his way home when he was executed in northern Guayaquil after finishing a Wednesday morning gym session with his girlfriend, Alejandra Jaramillo, who had returned to her own residence.  

A video leaked on social media shows the driver of the Suzuki Gran Vitara speeding down the street next to Ruales’ Ford Explorer before the shooter fired multiple shots. 

The suspects then fled as Ruales’ SUV continued on down the avenue before it came to a full stop in front of a school that is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Efraín Ruales, a tv presenter for Ecuavisa in Ecuador, executed Wednesday morning while he was returning home from a session at a local gym when a vehicle pulled up to him and a shooter opened fire. The 36-year-old in the past had spoken out against officials involved in scandals centered around the COVID-19 pandemic and had received death threats for it

Efraín Ruales was driving his Ford Explored (left) when shots were fired from a Suzuki Grand Vitoria in the middle of a street in northern Guayaquil

Efraín Ruales was driving his Ford Explored (left) when shots were fired from a Suzuki Grand Vitoria in the middle of a street in northern Guayaquil

Ecuador's National Police inspects Efraín Ruales's Ford Explorer after the 36-year-old Ecuavisa television presenter was murdered Wednesday in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ecuador’s National Police inspects Efraín Ruales’s Ford Explorer after the 36-year-old Ecuavisa television presenter was murdered Wednesday in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Ruales was struck at least four times by the gun shots and was declared dead at the crime scene, according to authorities.

Ecuador’s Attorney General’s Office reported that at least three suspects were involved in the murder and that the vehicle that was used to carry out the attack had been located completely burned.

Investigators at the scene of the murder found all of Ruales’ belongings, including his cellphone and personal documents. 

Authorities are also looking into where a fourth shot was fired from after it struck the window on the front passenger side of the SUV.

Alejandra Jaramillo (left), who also works as a tv host for Ecuavisa, was working out at a gym with her boyfriend, Efraín Ruales, before he was gunned down. She left a touching tribute on her Instagram for the 36-year-old, whom she had plans of marrying

Alejandra Jaramillo (left), who also works as a tv host for Ecuavisa, was working out at a gym with her boyfriend, Efraín Ruales, before he was gunned down. She left a touching tribute on her Instagram for the 36-year-old, whom she had plans of marrying

Efraín Ruales' Ford Explorer (pictured) continued on for several feet after he was shot before it came to a full stop in front of a school that had been closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic

Efraín Ruales’ Ford Explorer (pictured) continued on for several feet after he was shot before it came to a full stop in front of a school that had been closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic

Ruales had previously denounced government officials and criminal groups that had been linked to schemes that benefited them from the coronavirus pandemic, which has ravaged Ecuador.

The Attorney General’s Office denied several medial reports that mentioned that Ruales had been scheduled Wednesday to provide testimony involving a Daniel Salcedo, who was identified on social media of being Ruales’ friend and who was reportedly involved in a scandal in which a gang allegedly colluded with government officials to land a deal to sell body bags at 13 times the retail price.

Salcedo fled Ecuador in a plane that crashed in Peru in June 2020. He was arrested and remains in custody of Ecuadorian authorities.

Alejandra Jaramillo with her late boyfriend Efraín Ruales, who was gunned down in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Both worked for Ecuadorian television network, Ecuavisa

Alejandra Jaramillo with her late boyfriend Efraín Ruales, who was gunned down in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Both worked for Ecuadorian television network, Ecuavisa 

Friends and family members gathered Thursday for Efraín Ruales' funeral services

Friends and family members gathered Thursday for Efraín Ruales’ funeral services

Ruales had informed the police of a phone call he received in July in which an unknown person told him to use extra caution in what he reported about the corruption cases centered kickback coronavirus scandals. 

Ruales hosted a family show on Ecuavisa and also had several acting roles on local television series.

Family and close friends gathered for a memorial service Thursday after Ruales’ body was cremated.

Jaramillo, who also worked at Ecuavisa as a presenter, left a touching tribute on her Instagram account for Ruales, whom she had plans of marrying. 

‘I don’t understand it, I don’t accept it and I don’t understand it. How could I begin to explain to you how much pain I feel, I can’t find something that describes how much I’m going to miss you,’ Jaramillo wrote in a touching Instagram tribute. 

‘And our marriage? And the 4 children you wanted to have? [And] that between laughs you told me that there we’re only going to be two. And two days ago you looked me in the eye and told me that is going to happen sooner than you imagine. What do I do with our dreams?’

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