“They Owe us an Apology”: Venezuelans in Ecuador – From “Spies” to Taxi Drivers (Video)

The 17 Venezuelans who were arrested and had all their procedural rights violated in Ecuador have been released. The Venezuelans were exposed by the Minister of Government of Ecuador, María Paula Romo, to public derision, which unleashed more xenophobia against the nationals of the southern country now living in Ecuador.

“Seventeen detainees at the Quito airport this morning. Most of them Venezuelans. Intheir possession, information on the mobilization of the President and Vice President”. They added, “they will be placed in the next few minutes at the behest of justice. Each new event confirms all the interests that are behind the chaos in the country. We face it with the force of the law, the defense of democracy and without underestimating what is at stake,” Romo wrote on her Twitter account when she made the complaint public.

The message was accompanied with a photo of the detainees, kneeling and with the weapons “seized” and another photo in which a (very rustic) camera is seen with images that would prove their criminal purposes.

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For its part, the Observatory of Rights and Justice of Ecuador (ODJEcuador), as a result of these facts, denounced it as an irregular detention and in which the rights of the citizens, that were presented in the Flagrance Unit of Quito this Friday, October 11, had been violated

“We have found several violations of due process against Venezuelans in Tababela. The Prosecutor’s Office had no evidence during the first hearing and that is why 15 of 17 people arrested were released; the lawyers got access to the file 10 minutes before the hearing. The police side speaks of ‘unusual attitude’ as a reason for detention and this is not a crime. At the hearing they were accused of ‘illicit association’ and the weapons that the minister @mariapaularomo said they had found yesterday were not presented at the hearing,” they said on the Twitter account @ODJEcuador.

15 Venezuelans were acquitted of all charges because there is no evidence against them, only two Venezuelans are banned from leaving the country and must attend a hearing on October 21. In the same situation is a Cuban citizen and an Ecuadorian who were also arrested that same day.

The NGO also detailed the incongruities present in the version of the security bodies. “The police side is contradictory, because in the first report it mentions four people who were in the first car, who are supposed to be charged and then, says that there were only three. In the police report does not mention the objects that were supposedly found. In addition, the report was not individualized, the police report is the only one for all 19 people.”

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On the other hand, he detailed the inhuman treatment they received from the Ecuadorian authorities.

“They were kneeling for about two and a half hours on the sidewalk, (then) they were here (in the Flagrance Unit) without being able to receive water or any kind of food for 24 hours; they did not read their rights to them as required by law and the medical-legal exams were not given to the 19 people who are detained,” said the lawyer.

The ODJEcuador expressed in the social network that they hope that the minister @mariapaularomo “would explain to us where the weapons are, exhibit them and explain how playing cards between friends characterizes ‘unusual attitude’ or ‘illicit association’.

It was learned that several of the detainees work as taxi drivers in the areas surrounding the airport and this was demonstrated by their employers with documents in hand.

“This is not about nationalities, it is about doing justice. Minister María Paula Romo owes us a public apology,” Venezuelan Juan José Ochoa, who is the employer of one of the Venezuelans arrested, told Ecuadorian media.

Source URL: La IguanaTV with OT content

Translated by JRE/EFA