Yonkers celebration of Ecuadorian community hits somber tone in wake of political candidate's killing
Yonkers celebration of the contributions of Ecuadorians struck a somber tone Thursday following the assassination of one of the country's presidential candidates.
Ecuadorians said they are feeling pain for their home country but appreciate how the city took the time to recognize their culture.
Officials raised an Ecuadorian flag outside City Hall as a sign of unity and recognition for the Ecuadorian community in the city.
The celebration came the day after six foreign nationals were arrested in connection to the fatal shooting of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio during a campaign event.
The shooting was the latest act of rising violence in the country which is grappling to hold on to its democracy.
Two Yonkers women at the event, who moved from Ecuador to the United States in the late 1960s, said their country's situation is dire.
"We are losing our Democracy because all of these drug lords are taking our country hostage," said Pillar Blanck.
"It's very sad, it's a tragedy, and yes, we see how our country suffered," said Carmen Novillo.
The city's guest of honor was Monica Palacios, a former national assembly of Ecuador member and candidate in this month's election.