Ecuador

The MERCOSUR Visa: A Band-Aid for Ecuador’s Rejected Colombian Asylum Seekers

The MERCOSUR Visa: A Band-Aid for Ecuador’s Rejected Colombian Asylum Seekers

For years, Ecuador has been the destination for tens of thousands of Colombians seeking international protection. Fifty years after war broke out, an estimated 950 Colombians continue to cross the border into Ecuador each month, fleeing paramilitaries, guerilla groups, and organized gangs. Through its own refugee processing system, Ecuador has recognized roughly 60,500 Colombian refugees as of 2013 and hosts over 170,000 asylum seekers, 98 percent of whom are Colombian.