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Venezuelans ignore passport requirement to enter Ecuador

Venezuelan immigrants fleeing the economic crisis in their country and seeking a new life try to enter now in Ecuador and Peru. Many challenged on Sunday (19) the rules that require the presentation of a valid passport to cross the border from Colombia to Ecuador.
 
Since Saturday (18), is in force the new rule determined by the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno. Any Venezuelan who wishes to enter the country must present a valid passport. Children and teenagers traveling with parents can cross without the document.
 
Immigrants, however, are taking advantage of the lack of vigilance in some parts of the border with Colombia to enter the country.
 
Hundreds of desperate people who traveled for days after leaving Venezuela, mostly buses but a few on foot, were barred at the weekend from crossing a checkpoint near Ipiales, a city in southwestern Colombia, because of the new rule.
 
As tension rose in the cold mountainous city, the immigrants decided to face the risk of arrest and simply crossed the border without gates and little guarded after facing cold days in the passage of Rumichaca.
 
"We do not have money, we have to move forward now and start our lives again," said Mayerly Isaguirre, gasping for being dragging his belongings up the steep hill on the Ecuadorian border.
 
The 37-year-old primary school teacher was traveling with her boyfriend and was planning to cross illegally with her Venezuelan identity card to look for a job in Peru, where relatives arrived with success weeks ago
 
The two were barred from entering the country by the new regulation, but after more than 24 hours of shivering in the currency, she ventured and passed through the unguarded area of the border.
 
"They did not tell us anything - we're waiting like idiots," she said, pulling her suitcase through the checkpoint open under the guards' eyes.
 
Peru
The Peruvian government announced immigration measures similar to those of Ecuador on Friday (17), requiring passports of Venezuelans from 25 August.
 
"They are in limbo," said Gustavo Salvador, a Red Cross official in Ecuador. "Many people who are crossing illegally will receive fines on the Peruvian border, and these people have no money."
 
The Ecuadorian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior declined to comment. It was not possible to contact a spokeswoman for the Colombian immigration office immediately for comment.
 
On Sunday morning there were discussions among the immigrants themselves - some arguing that people would go to Ecuador in groups and others arguing that they should stay and do things "in the right way."
 
Segs: Veja
 
 
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