Xenophobia against Venezuela in Ecuador, by violence case

By Cindy Castillo

The 19 last January, Yordi Venezuelan Rafael Losada, He murdered his partner Diana Carolina Reyes Ramirez, I was pregnant in the city of Ibarra, Ecuador. The crime occurred in front of dozens of people who tried to persuade the Venezuelan and was recorded on video that later became viral on social networks.

According to information from the local media and police, no one could avoid the tragedy. The Venezuelan who had held his wife for more than 90 minutes, before stabbing her, He was arrested shortly after the crime.

The fact infuriated Ecuadorian. For two days, angry groups in the city, which it is located 75 kilometers north of the capital, They undertook a real and cruel hunt Venezuelan. Mobs violently evacuated to shelters tourists, hostels and even rented houses.

Police could barely control the situation. It was not until the morning of the second day military patrols imposed order and could restrain the angry population.

Many described these actions as xenophobic against Venezuelans living in Ecuador. Venezuela's government ordered three flights commercial for its citizens puedieran return migrants under a social protection system. Those who accepted the help, They traveled to the capital to address Flights Plan Return to the Motherland.

The Ecuadorian government announced a week later, that apart from the unfortunate events, will require mandatory and immediate submission of the judicial record all Venezuelans who want to enter the country, as a security measure.

The announcement of the new immigration provisions imposed only did the Venezuelan Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner, in radio and television, and according to the official, the measure is taken for reasons of public safety, as a result of crime and the separation of Venezuela from the Andean Community of Nations.

“We have exhausted all efforts, but Venezuela refuses to provide databases that allow us to verify information from those entering the country. No generalizations, but firm hand, Today we must differentiate between Venezuelans fleeing government of Nicolas Maduro and others who take advantage of this situation to commit crimes ", said the vice president in his speech.

Meanwhile, the president of the Venezuelan Civil Association in Ecuador, Daniel Regalado, He said at a press conference to obtain the document required by Ecuador compatriots would require at least six months, Between other reasons, by "the absence of public officials to expedite this process" on Venezuelan soil.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, He said from Caracas that the government of President Lenin Moreno should take responsibility for the violence and attacks occurred against their countrymen and urged the Ecuadorian authorities to a bilateral meeting to discuss the situation.

arreaza also, Moreno accused and other Ecuadorian officials to encourage the situation and give "more fuel to the fire of xenophobia in violation of international law".

But the reactions that this case triggered many more. Leonardo Aguirre, a Venezuelan who lives in El Salvador for two years, He says that "this marks a turning point in the way of living of the Venezuelan”.

And continues: “In this specific case of Ecuador, xenophobia extreme reactions that were experienced from an act of violence that has nothing to do with the origin of the person and how despicable, human little, with which the rulers took an irresponsible position from every point of view, its sad. The world will find good and bad people ".

In a statement sent through the Foreign Ministry, five Venezuelan associations, categorically they rejected the murder and "any form of xenophobia or discrimination can be born from the events in Ibarra”.

further, They reiterated their condemnation of any type of crime committed in Ecuador. “Wherever it comes, and make a new call on the authorities to work together on migrant care programs, without distinction of nationality ".

In addition repudiation crime and xenophobia, caused the dismissal of Marisol Peñafiel, Governor of Imbabura, Ibarra capital, the dome of Police, for mishandling the situation and irresponsibility with which the authorities acted against the case.

In recent years, thousands of Venezuelans have come to Ecuador, fleeing the difficult economic and social situation in their country living. Most of them, It has successfully integrated seamlessly into Ecuadorian society. Thousands of others have followed his trip to Peru, Colombia, Chile and even more distant destinations such as Argentina and Brazil.

The United Nations Organization (HIM) considers that more 2.3 millions of Venezuelans have left their country since 2015 the crisis that exists in that country, face food shortages, medicines and little chance of finding a job.