Ecuador: Xenophobic outbreaks towards Venezuelans?
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Following an episode of femicide, now Venezuelans living in Ecuador will have more control
Last week, a pregnant woman lost her life "on the street by her boyfriend, a Venezuelan citizen," the BBC reports. Immediately, a wave of discontent flooded the country, not only because a 22-year-old woman was murdered, but because the perpetrator was a foreign citizen.
Leer en español: Ecuador: ¿Brotes xenófobos hacia los venezolanos?
Before the situation, the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno expressed in his Twitter account, his dissatisfaction with the situation and stressed the need that "Ecuador is and will be a country of peace. I will not allow any antisocial to snatch them from us. " In the same statement, Moreno states that he has arranged immediate brigades to control the legal situation of Venezuelans in Ecuador. He added that "we have opened the doors, but we will not sacrifice anyone's safety."
#TodosSomosDiana pic.twitter.com/BE4RuduxT2— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) 20 de enero de 2019
With this, the government of Moreno issued an Interministerial Agreement, which aims to verify the criminal record of Venezuelans who try to enter the country. Thus, the certificate shown by the immigrants will have to be valid in the country of origin or the country of residence for the last five years, the paper will have to have the proper certification and validity.
It should be noted that adults will only request this certificate since children and adolescents are exempt. Lenin's measure not only responds to the femicide that took place in Ibarra, capital of the province of Imbabura but also poses as a solution to the more than 250,000 Venezuelans currently residing in Ecuador, according to official figures from the Foreign Ministry.
Also, the president expressed in the World Economic Forum his concern that the country enters migrants "without any documentation," and said that his main argument for creating this type of control is that "people who were imprisoned in Venezuela have been liberated and placed on the border."
#NiXenofobiaNiMachismo pic.twitter.com/V7tDp4evza— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) 22 de enero de 2019
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A wave of criticism
Although Moreno's solution serves to control Venezuelans arriving in the country, different political personalities have called it a xenophobic attack on Venezuelans.
For Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Popular Power for Foreign Affairs, Moreno's solution is nothing more than a "fascist persecution" against Venezuelans living in Ecuador. In the same way, Nicolás Maduro attacked Moreno and called for Ecuadorians living in Venezuela not to suffer from xenophobic attacks. He also called the Ecuadorian president, as "Nazi fascist" and "anti-Bolivian" and addressed the situation presented in Ecuador, as "Those Ecuadorian people [...] is not to blame for having a nefarious president as is Lenin Moreno", as reported by El Comercio.
El Presidente @Lenin y su gobierno han incitado una persecución fascista contra l@s venezolan@s en #Ecuador. Los hacemos responsables de la seguridad e integridad de nuestr@s compatriotas. En #Venezuela viven centenares de miles de ecuatorian@s y jamás han sido discriminados.— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) 21 de enero de 2019
However, Venezuelans fear that xenophobic outbreaks will spread across the country, as 82 cases of violence were known as a result of this episode, as emphasized by the president of the Fundación Venezolanos en el Exterior, Eduardo Febres Cordero. Added to the above about 300 people left from Ecuador to Venezuela not only for the lack of job opportunities but because the episode "has caused some concern and has motivated them to return to their country," as El Universo states.
In the face of panic, the government of Ecuador affirmed that the new measure does not suppose to go beyond the human rights of migrants arriving in the country. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that "No one is going to be persecuted in Ecuador because of its origin or because of the way it thinks."
Comunicado | Canciller (s) @AndresTeranEc se reunió hoy con representantes de la Fundación de Venezolanos en el Exterior, FUNVEX: https://t.co/KtjW5rRdzG pic.twitter.com/EbW8KUt4wV— Cancillería Ecuador (@CancilleriaEc) 21 de enero de 2019
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from "Ecuador: ¿Brotes xenófobos hacia los venezolanos?"