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Ecuador tightens restrictions on Venezuelan immigrants after murder

Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, said his country was setting up new units to review the legal status of immigrants from Venezuela and possibly tighten entry into the country after a Venezuelan man killed his Ecuadorian girlfriend.
The murder in the northern city of Ibarra was the first such crime by a Venezuelan immigrant in Ecuador since hundreds of thousands of people arrived in the country to escape an economic crisis in Venezuela.

“Orders were issued for the immediate formation of units to examine the legal status of Venezuelan migrants on the streets, in the workplace and at the border,” Moreno wrote on Twitter.

He said the government may issue a new “special permit” for Venezuelans to enter the country. He gave no further details on the units or how they worked.

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 “Ecuador is a country of peace and will continue, I will not allow any criminal to deprive us of that,” Moreno said.

The Venezuelan man was held hostage on a busy street for nearly an hour on Sunday night before stabbing her to death. He was subsequently arrested by the police.

Interior Minister Maria Paola Romo said she had dismissed the chief of police in Ibarra for not preventing crime, adding officers could use force to prevent it.

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