Monday, September 20, 2021

Hearing on Ecuador’s new passport rules for Venezuelans brought forward

Quito, Aug 21 (EFE) .- The Ombudsman’s Office of Ecuador announced Tuesday that the judicial hearing on whether or not to block the government’s new regulation which requires any Venezuelan entering the country to present their passports, has been brought forward.

“ATTENTION: Hearing of precautionary measures against the requirement of a passport as the only valid document to enter the national territory, Wednesday, Aug. 22,” the Ombudsman’s Office informed on its Twitter account.

Chief Ombudswoman Gina Benavides had earlier announced that she was looking for an advance hearing on Aug 24 due to the seriousness of the case.

“We are insisting with the judge to change the hearing date given the urgency and the concrete effects that the application of the measure is having on groups with priority needs,” Benavides told EFE.

Benavides also announced her support for a declaration of the Ombudsmen of Colombia and Peru which requested that the case be supervised by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

“We have also proposed to the Foreign Ministry to accept the request of the Venezuelan people stranded in Rumichaca (a border crossing between Ecuador and Colombia),” which requested in a joint letter with dozens of signatures that international agreements on the free transit of migrants be respected, Benavides said.

Dozens of Venezuelan immigrants have been stranded in Colombia’s border area with Ecuador since Aug. 16 when the Ecuadorian government suddenly announced the new passport rule for Venezuelans.

The new regulation came into force on Aug. 18. However, despite this many Venezuelans who entered into Ecuador without a passport already had begun a walk along Ecuadorian highways on their way to Peru.