Forced to be exiled by a Salvadoran embassy

Oscar Orellana

Manila, Philippines. Hector Armando Quevedo is a former police officer from El Salvador, of 39 year old, who came to the Philippines in August of the year 2016, After completing a mission with the United Nations in East Timor, in Southeast Asia. There he met his life partner Filipino-origin -of, and together they decided to visit her family in the region of Mindanao, south of the Philippine capital.

Being in this region, Quevedo ill and was admitted to a hospital in October 2017 due to pneumonia that affected the left lung, body was filled with water and has practically lost entirely.

Since he entered the hospital, Quevedo requested assistance from the Embassy of El Salvador in Japan, Martha Lidia Zelayandía chaired by Cisneros. The entity, In the first moment, he said it would help their vulnerable condition.

Hector's condition worsened once admitted to hospital, and because they had no income, concern increased daily, especially, after accumulating a total of 6 months of medical treatment.

Audio Hector Quevedo

Abandoned across the world

Embassy of El Salvador in Japan is a regional diplomatic mission including, within their responsibilities, assistance to Salvadorans nations like the Philippines and Singapore, among other, in addition to those residing in the country Japan.

Hector requested assistance was economic and repatriation to El Salvador. His relatives in El Salvador also contacted Irma Rodas, Director of Assistance and Protection for Salvadorans Abroad of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since his hospitalization in October 2017, until January this year, according to records and text messages via WhatsApp, the answer to your call for help never came.

The silence of the Salvadoran authorities would represent a violation of the Organic Law of the Consular Service saying, textually, the next:

Art. 109."Consular officers lend their assistance to the destitute or sick Salvadorans without means of earning livelihood to be admitted in public establishments Relief and excite, among the nations of the District's private charity for them. In extreme and in accordance with the instructions hath given them the Ministry of Foreign cases, They shall grant the necessary relief under the State ".

Art. 110.– "It is the duty of consular officers provide as dependent on their intervention or support, Repatriation of Salvadorans that exist in their district and moderate grant aid whenever it has funds for that purpose and estuvieren authorized to levy them to the State ".

If you do not have funds, Salvadorans in that part of the world can apply for repatriation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also they may be submitted to the captains of ships or national transport companies for transfer to the country.

Additional charges for routine procedures

While the Embassy of El Salvador in Japan is the only one that provides protection to Salvadorans in Southeast Asia, various sources, between them, testimonies of compatriots in that part of the world, affirm that, for "simple" procedures such as passport renewal, consular authorities request an "extra" charge for postage.

That procedure must be done through the portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, It is providing appointments at the consulate of the country where the citizen is found. further, These appointments must be coordinated by the Regional Embassy of El Salvador in Japan. According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, the cost of the passport is 60 American dollars.

The Embassy, but nevertheless, does not coordinate appointments with consulates as claimed by the electronic portal, and asks the person to pay other expenses "shipment", as usual, They are higher than the same cost of passport. In this sense, the diplomatic mission requests 5 thousand yen per shipment from Japan to the destination country, In this case Philippines, and others 2 thousand 500 Filipinos sending documents from the Philippines to Japan pesos. On the contrary, They put option as traveling to Japan to collect the document. Total, the passport, with shipping costs, making US dollar, cost more than 150 American dollars.

The official portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, specifically, the cost of the passport in the rest of the world is 60 US dollars and is unofficially sending money "extra" for other expenses.

However, an email written in English, and sent to Maria Josefina Ortigas Duarte, Honorary Consul of El Salvador in Manila, by Irma Lidia Ortega, official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, clearly shows that the sender reminds the consular officer "include charges: 60 USD plus shipping charges "for the handling of that document.

Irregularities like this helped the case of Quevedo complicara, as, while in hospital, I needed the renewal of his passport. His request was sent in February 2017, most did not receive the document until Eleven months later, in December of that year.

prison hospital

Fortunately, Hector Quevedo managed to survive his illness in hospital, and in March 2018 They gave high. But, the bill was too high for the possibilities of Hector, and it is amounting to 400,000 Philippine pesos (7,404.78 American dollars).

The hospital would not let him leave if he did not pay. Hislifemate began to mobilize public lawyers and reach an agreement with the medical center. Quevedo managed to get a loan 100,000 Philippine pesos (of one thousand US dollars) and pay the hospital, while his partner gave him a postdated check, payable in 2018, the remaining amount of (313,260 Philippine pesos).

The aid initially offered the Ambassador of El Salvador in Japan, never arrived. Now, Hector demands justice to the Salvadoran authorities and avoca a law to denounce "the failure to provide relief", defined in section 175 the Penal Code of El Salvador.

Honorary Consulate of El Salvador in the Philippines was the only Salvadoran government agency that provided helpful information, for example, where to find shelters in Philippines.

Upon leaving the hospital, Hector asked IOM (International Organization for Migration) financial support to return to El Salvador. They agreed to help in their repatriation, but they asked a requirement: a letter from the Embassy of El Salvador in Japan in which case transferred to the organization and reconfirm their state of vulnerability for repatriation.

The embassy did not respond to that request, and response and instructions to the honorary consulate of El Salvador in Philippines, according to Consul Maria Josefina Ortigas Duarte, It was that Hector had a vulnerable state of health and limited financial resources. However, He assured the embassy, Quevedo was not a homeless person, so he could not issue a letter, nor the consulate could issue a letter, constataba as in the email sent by the Minister Counselor of the Embassy of El Salvador in Japan, Honorary Consulate in Philippines.

More problems

for Hector, the problems continued. In June 2018, her partner was arrested by postdated check that had provided, He is accused of fraud. Quevedo was kept in a place of refuge charitable Franciscan brothers, who also gave him legal assistance in this case.

Hector got another NGO will help with the repatriation of him and his two sons (one of 5 years and another, of 1 year and 9 months) for the first half of September 2018, so it began the process to obtain visas from their two rods, Philippine nationals.

Quevedo had two options: apply for visas for their young (because the people of Philippine nationality need a visa to enter El Salvador), or go through a longer process of registering and getting the Salvadoran passport for both, because one parent is Salvadoran by birth.

At that time, the clock was against. The NGO had already bought your ticket, I could use in the first half of September, while the Philippine immigration authorities had given deadline to leave the country, because he forgave a debt not to renew his tourist visa. In Philippines, a person, when entering as a tourist, You have to renew his visa after 30 days and the average amount is $150 for two months.

But the Salvadoran embassy will not expedited visas two children. It's more, they only provided an affidavit with which supposedly could leave the Philippines with children. But nevertheless, It is according to the immigration laws of that nation, to go to the country of destination is needed visas (if it is a requirement that nationality) before the flight, otherwise the airlines do not allow boarding.

Audio María Josefina Ortigas Duarte, Honorary consul


A Hector stated that the visa process would last only three days, so the 9 August 2018, He sent all the documentation and the respective payments to the Embassy of El Salvador in Japan, to obtain a visa for her two children. But nevertheless, three days later, he was told that the ambassador was on vacation.

As it can be seen in an email dated 31 August 2018, Ambassador still on vacation.

Hector finally received passports. he did not send the visas had already paid, instead they only stamped passports stamped his two sons, to indicate that they were exempt from visa.

After this long and difficult process, Hector managed to return to El Salvador. When you get your country, He had to pay a tourist visa for her two children again, as seen in the picture below.