Pedro Luis Toala Rezabala, a disabled social media influencer, was shot dead while filming a live stream on his TikTok account in Portoviejo, Ecuador.
The incident occurred on October 17, 2023, when Rezabala was in a shootout with two men.
The shooting was captured on the live stream, which has since been widely circulated on social media.
The motive behind the shooting is unknown, and it is unclear why the man was targeted while he was live-streaming on TikTok.
The video of the incident, along with CCTV footage and the aftermath, has been widely shared on various platforms, sparking shock and outrage.
It is unclear why Rezabala was involved in the shootout, and the investigation is ongoing.
The incident has sparked outrage and calls for justice on social media, with many expressing their condolences to Rezabala’s family and friends.
TikTok, the platform on which Rezabala was live streaming, provides camera tools that allow users to record and upload videos up to three minutes long.
Users can choose to record videos for 15 or 60 seconds, and the app automatically stops recording after the chosen time limit.
Pedro Luis Toala Rezabala video
In the video, Rezabala is seen drawing a firearm as two men arrive on a motorbike who are seen firing shots in his direction.
A third man then appears from behind, and horrifically shoots Rezabala in the head from behind as the group flees the scene.
According to Daily Mail, Rezabala had a criminal record of robbery, drug trafficking, violent behavior and illegally possessing weapons.
He was reportedly with a friend during the entire shootout who managed to escape the scene unharmed.
Additionally, Rezabala had survived an attempted murder years ago that left him paraplegic in his legs, leaving him dependent on a wheelchair.
The video can be found here.
Crime rate in Ecuador
The crime rate in Ecuador has been increasing in recent years.
Ecuador was once known as one of the least violent countries in Latin America, but now it has the region’s fourth-highest homicide rate, higher even than Mexico.
The crime rate in Ecuador has been increasing since 2016, with the homicide rate soaring by almost 500% to an estimated 22 murders per 100,000 people in 2022.
In 2012, Ecuador had a murder rate of 12.4 per 100,000 population, with a total of 1,924 murders in the country.
The crime rate in Ecuador has been increasing due to a combination of factors, including weak economic growth, volatile politics, the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing reach of cocaine trafficking gangs.
The crime situation in Ecuador has become so severe that in April 2022, the provinces of Guayas, Manabi, and Esmeraldas were all declared in a state of emergency for 60 days by Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso due to a rise in violent deaths and crimes in the said provinces.
Gangs operating inside Ecuador’s prisons have taken advantage of the state’s weak control to expand their power, threatening inmates’ lives, according to human rights groups and prisoners’ families.
Despite the increasing crime rate, Ecuador is still considered safe to visit as a tourist and to live as a citizen.
The most common risks are petty crimes like pickpocketing or bag theft, which happen in a tiny minority.
The perception that the US, Europe, or Asia are safer than Ecuador is a perception; statistically, some places in Ecuador have lower crime rates than some of the biggest cities in the US, Europe and Asia.
However, it is still important to be informed and cautious to travel safely in Ecuador.