Sun. Mar 29th, 2020

the passage of Venezuelans in transit is not yet allowed

Ecuador's Interior Minister, María Paula Romo, said Thursday that her country still does not allow the passage of Venezuelan migrants in transit but is still studying how to enable a corridor for them.

"We are reviewing but, at this moment, without a visa, Ecuador is not entered," said the minister at a press conference in the city of Tulcán, on the border with Colombia.

He explained that the "humanitarian visa" requirement that entered into force on August 26 is still valid and that Ecuador is studying exceptions within its application.

One of them is to allow the passage of Venezuelan citizens who have a visa for third countries, and I assure you that, just like the transit of foreigners at an airport, they are now studying how to do it by "land".

"The question is how this mechanism is activated when it is terrestrial transit. (And it will not come into force) as long as we (we) are not clear, until we can establish a clear mechanism for that to be applied," he said.

On Wednesday, in an interview with Efe, the Foreign Minister, José Valencia, said that Ecuador will allow those who have a visa to third countries to pass through their territory, thus solving the problem of more than a thousand people who had been stranded in Colombia since last August 26.

"The only requirement is that the person interested in obtaining it presents a valid visa to the country to which they are going," the minister announced.

Romo however insisted that this mechanism is not enabled and "it can be seen on the bridge: if they do not have a visa they cannot enter."

In the last two years, more than one million Venezuelan migrants have passed through Ecuador, of which some 400,000 have settled in the country with a very high social and economic cost for the Ecuadorian Government, some 77 million dollars in 2018 and more than 120 million planned for 2019.

Given the forecasts of an even greater flow, which according to the UN was going to reach half a million at the end of the year, President Lenín Moreno imposed the requirement of an exceptional visa with "humanitarian character", which has reduced the number of income from Dramatically and forced many to try to cross the national territory using irregular steps.

Romo said at the press conference that since the visa application "we have gone from 1,500-2,000 daily entries (from Venezuelans) to 40-60.

The Rumichaca pass, on the border between Ecuador and Colombia, was seen this Thursday as empty as in the last two and a half weeks, in contrast to the massive flow of migrants that existed before the visa came into force.

. (tagsToTranslate) Ecuadorian Minister (t) (t) allows (t) Venezuelans (t) transit

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