640,000 Venezuelans entered country in 2018, Facebook fugitive’s appeal denied, Ecuadorians disapprove of gasoline price hike

Aug 31, 2018

Habeas corpus appeal rejected for Facebook fugitive

A national court judge has rejected an appeal by U.S. fugitive Paul Ceglia to release him from jail pending an extradition decision. The habeas corpus appeal had been filed by Ceglia’s attorney Roberto Calderón who claims Ceglia’s incarceration is illegal under Ecuadorian law.

Ceglia is wanted in the U.S. for attempting to defraud Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg out of partial ownership of the social media company based on documents that U.S. prosecutors say were forged. Arrested in New York while awaiting trial in 2012, Ceglia removed an electronic ankle bracelet and fled to Ecuador, where he lived in the Cuenca suburb of Challuabamba. He was arrested last week in Santa Elena Province.

Venezuelan refugees waiting to cross the Colombian border.

U.S. officials have asked that Ceglia be extradited. The court is expected to rule on the request within 45 days. For more on the case, click here.

More than 640,000 Venezuelans entered Ecuador in 2018

Ecuador’s foreign ministry reports that 641,353 Venezuelans have entered Ecuador so far in 2018, almost all of them crossing the border from Colombia. The ministry says that the majority of refugees have left the country at the Peruvian border but that 115,690 remain.

Immigration officials say that the inflow of refugees from Colombia has dropped dramatically over the past two weeks following the implementation of new entry requirements. In mid-August, 5,000 Venezuelans a day entered Ecuador while the number has dropped to about 1,000 a day early this week.

The ministry says it continues to analyze ways to handle the mass migration and is in meetings with Colombia, Peru and Brazil to develop a regional strategy. Among “humanitarian” efforts to assist the Venezuelans, Ecuador is providing free bus transportation between the Colombian and Peruvian borders and has set up shelters and food kitchens in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.

Majority of Ecuadorians reject gasoline price hike

A national poll shows that 74 percent of Ecuadorians disagree with the government’s decision to increase in the price of super, or high-test, gasoline. The price of super increased on Monday to $2.98 a gallon, up from $2.10 and $2.32 a gallon, depending on whether a gas station is publicly or privately owned. In the poll conducted by Cedatos, respondents supported other measures ordered by the government to reduce a budget deficit, including the sale of government property and reduction in the size of government.

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