Venezuelans entering Peru and Ecuador drops sharply, Ombudsman to challenge new entry rule, City says tram is on track for October finish

Aug 27, 2018

Entry of Venezuelans into Peru drops sharply

The government of Peru said Sunday that the number of Venezuelans entering the country from Ecuador has dropped dramatically since last week. On Saturday, Peru’s foreign ministry said it processed 1,630 Venezuelans at the Huaquillas crossing, down from a high 3,000 a day for most of August. Officials say the requirement that Venezuelans present a passport to enter Peru is partly responsible for the reduced flow.

Venezuelan refugees are processed at the Peru – Ecuador border.

Last week, the government of Ecuador reported a similar drop in Venezuelans entering Ecuador from Colombia following its imposition of the passport requirement. A judge threw out the requirement on Friday but the interior ministry immediately imposed new rules requiring verification of national identity cards. Ecuador reports that the number of Venezuelans  gaining legal entry into the country has dropped from almost 5,000 a day two weeks ago to about 1,000 a day over the weekend.

Ombudsman will challenge new Venezuelan requirements

Ecuador’s Defensoría del Pueblo, or ombudsman, announced Saturday that it will challenge new the requirement for the entry of Venezuelans into the country. Following a judge’s ruling Friday that it was unconstitutional for the government to require passports from Venezuelans, the ministry of interior said it would require documents proving that national identification cards of those crossing the border are legal. According to the ministry, many of the Venezuelan ID cards, or cedulas, are counterfeit.

Ombudsman lawyer Javier Arcentales maintains that the new rule is a constitutional violation, just as the passport rule was. “We ask that passage of Venezuelans be allowed with a cedula, without the need for additional documents. We were surprised when the government came out with the new requirement since it is illegal,”  he said.

City says tram construction is on schedule

Despite financing questions, Cuenca tram project manager Jaime Guzmán says that work is on schedule for completion in 50 days. He adds that construction in the Milchichig barrio near the industrial park continues to pose challenges, particularly at the bridge over the Rio Milchichig, but that these are being overcome. He added that work in the historic district, which currently blocks several intersections, will be complete by mid-September.

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