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Ecuador Will Require Criminal Record Certificate from Foreign Visitors


Ecuador criminal record certificate
Ecuador will require criminal record certificate from foreigners. Credit: @FuerzasMilCol / X

Ecuador will require a criminal record certificate for foreign citizens attempting to enter the country through its shared borders with Colombia and Peru, including Colombian and Peruvian nationals. With this decision, the Ecuadorian government temporarily breaks the practice of the Andean Community, a supranational grouping between Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia that facilitates the mobility of its citizens between the four countries by carrying only the citizenship card, without the need of a passport or other documents.

The measure is part of the actions to reinforce citizen security in Ecuador. The measure is given “in order to strengthen security and preserve the stability of our nation”, and will remain in force “while the state of emergency and recognition of the internal armed conflict” in Ecuador lasts, said the government in a statement.

Control borders with Colombia and Peru

The decision of the Ecuadorian authorities seeks to control the access of all foreign citizens entering the country from Colombia and Peru. According to Ecuador, the aim is to “prevent and control the entry of individuals who constitute a threat or risk to public security”. The reality is that the land border crossings between the three countries are routinely used with impunity by organized criminal gangs to move illegal goods and avoid police controls.

The criminal record certificate from the “country of origin or residence during the last five years” must be presented “duly apostilled”. Children and adolescents accompanied by a close relative are exempt from this requirement.

The provision will be in force during the State of Exception, which began last January 8 and will last 60 days, that is to say until the beginning of March 2024.

U.S. to cooperate with Ecuador in the fight against drug trafficking

The United States will send the head of the Southern Command, General Laura Richardson, and senior counternarcotics officials to Ecuador to cooperate with Daniel Noboa’s government in the fight against organized crime. The officials also include the undersecretary of the International Narcotics Bureau, Todd Robinson, and a senior official from the State Department’s office for Latin America.

The transfer of U.S. police officers “to assist Ecuador in criminal investigations” has also been officially announced, according to the State Department statement.

President Biden’s administration, among others, has been condemning the situation of violence and kidnapping of prison officials committed by organized gangs in Ecuador. From the outset, the White House has shown its support and willingness to collaborate with Ecuadorian authorities to combat these criminal groups.

“We will work with President Noboa to deepen our law enforcement cooperation through security assistance programs,” the statement said.

Results of the Ecuadorian police

With the special powers that the State of Emergency confers to law enforcement, police and military, the police of Ecuador has published the results of several operations nationwide. According to them, during the night of January 10 and the early morning of January 11, 29 people involved in terrorist acts were arrested, while weapons, explosives, drugs and vehicles were seized.

In addition, police officers are investigating the most recent attacks: the one perpetrated in the community police unit south of Quito and the arson attack in a discotheque in El Coca in the Amazon, a criminal act that caused three deaths.

Police have also reported the arrest of several dozen people linked to organized gangs, as well as the seizure of significant quantities of marijuana and cocaine, and the deactivation of explosives.

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