Why did the wave of violence occur after the murder of Diana, in Ibarra?
While there was an act of violence against a woman, then the issue of the aggressor’s nationality appeared; and for my way of seeing it was exacerbated by the treatment that was given by the Government. From what I was investigating, the answer is that people felt dissatisfied. The Venezuelan people work for less; that displaces the workforce in Ibarra. The taxi drivers felt damaged. In the tours of that night, many of the attackers were taxi drivers because the owners of cars have Venezuelan drivers who accept what they give them. There were disputes, unworked processes that at a certain moment sprout and become legitimate, because the Government said: I am going to take brigades to control the Venezuelan population. The answer was that. This happened because of the lack of perception and timely action by the authorities to face the conflicts.
Could it be prevented?
Yes. When it started to feel like we had this flow of Venezuelan people, it was important that the national and local governments articulate policies to establish integration processes, to detect where those problems are and, from those diagnoses, to say here we are going to have a focus of conflict with the local population. Now the immigration requirements are reinforced when asking for the judicial past … Here who committed the crime was a Venezuelan that is the nationality of that person. And for that reason a whole group is being judged now, and it is said: all Venezuelans are possible criminals, so they have to prove that they are not and present the judicial past. That generates a prejudice, a stigma that is contrary to human rights.
Will asking for judicial past solve something?
No. And I ask: Is the judicial past going to solve the crimes? A person who has a judicial past and arrives at the border and they tell him not to let him pass, will turn around and enter, because in this country there are many ways to do it.
Is it not better to have the person registered and with names and surnames?
The measure can generate irregularity, and there the State will not even know who they are.
Is it unconstitutional?
Yes. It is a measure that the State already used in the Government of Rafael Correa, when it issued Decree 1471 in 2010, which said that people of Colombian nationality had to present the judicial past. The Constitutional Court was delayed until 2017, but said that the measure, being directed to a specific group, is discriminatory, violates Article 11 numeral 2 of the Constitution.
There was already a demand, what was resolved?
Suspend the measure of demanding a passport for the entry of Venezuelan people. With the same considerations that are now given to ask for the judicial past, discrimination is created, differential treatment among other nationalities. The judge said that there was a factor of discrimination and said we are going to suspend the measure until you, the State, have a plan for the treatment of the unusual flow of Venezuelan people, which has a human rights approach. The State presented the plan, with policies for each of these stages. As of that the judge said there are no precautionary measures since November of last year, and after that the plan began to be implemented. It is a plan that goes until September 2019, which facilitates humanitarian visas.
But if they are asked for the judicial past, that plan presented by the State is overturned?
Of course. That is why I was calling on the Government to take into consideration the unconstitutionality ruling that exists and to review its own plan, which says that measures to control the entry of people have to comply with human rights standards, that is, that cannot be discriminated.
Will they put a new precautionary measure?
It is an agreement with signs of unconstitutionality. We could not put the injunction, what would be a claim of unconstitutionality. It is the State’s power to regulate immigration policy, what we remind the State is that any measure has to be adjusted to the constitutional framework and that it respects human rights. We believe that it is not just a legal debate, because there is a need to do a strong job in public policy, we cannot believe that the solution is to say that I will not let Venezuelan people in. I ask: what is going to be done so that in this country there are policies financed, effective policies to eradicate violence against women? What will be done to integrate the foreign population so that relationship conflicts do not arise?. (I)