Shooting at funeral home in Ecuador leaves four dead


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ACI Prensa Staff, May 19, 2023 / 17:00 pm (CNA).

The archbishop of Portoviejo, Eduardo José Castillo Pino, asked the faithful to pray for the end of violence in Ecuador and expressed his solidarity with the victims and injured left by a shooting that occurred Thursday morning at a funeral home in Manta, a port city on the central coast.

“Once more, crime and terror again destroy the lives of so many people, and fill us all with fear and insecurity,” the prelate said in a May 18 statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner.

“For the victims and injured in the attack in Manta, and their families, all our closeness and solidarity. A heartfelt prayer for all of them, for their eternal rest and for the peace and strengthening of their families,” he continued.

Around 10 a.m. local time on May 18 at the Gardens of Eden funeral home, unidentified persons arrived at the wake of Andrés Agustín Moreira and opened fire on those present. Moreira was a city traffic cop from Manta who was murdered on May 16.

At least four people were killed and another eight were wounded, including two minors, local media reported.

The head of the National Police in Manabí, Patricio Almendáriz, reported in a press conference that at least five people carried out the attack. The criminals used long guns and handguns to shoot indiscriminately inside the funeral home where the wake was being held.

The mayor of Manta, Agustín Intriago, said that what happened Thursday is “terror” that goes beyond settling scores and everything that can be called ‘organized crime issues.’”

“Ecuador Ministry of Government, Ecuador Ministry of Defense, your intervention is urgent right now in this city. So that what is going on in the rest of the country [does] not happen here. Not with innocents, by God,” the archbishop said on social media.

In his message to ACI Prensa, Castillo urged that “we never get used to the suffering of our brothers despite the fact that there seems to be no end to crime.”

“Let us feel what happens to others as if it happened to us. And that not a day goes by that we stop praying for peace and for an end to so much irrational violence. The Lord will not abandon us,” he concluded.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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