Ecuador: U.S. citizen’s visa cancelled, leaves country

Posted on July 29, 2014 • Filed under: Ecuador

AMAZONWATCH.ORG REPORTED On July 17, Oliver Utne, a U.S. citizen residing in Ecuador with a valid visa, was abruptly questioned, detained, and forced to leave the country after being targeted by Ecuadorian immigration officials. Utne had been living in the country for several years. He was coordinating an innovative solar canoe project with the Achuar indigenous people with funding from the government of Finland, in collaboration with ESPOL University of Guayaquil in Ecuador and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Utne attended a public event in Quito’s Botanical Gardens and, upon leaving, he was approached in the parking lot by a group of ten men in an unmarked car who claimed to be officers with Ecuador’s Department of Interior, which governs the national police force. They asked him if he was Oliver Utne and tried to take him to the local precinct along with two other U.S. citizens. After refusing until marked cars and officers with badges appeared, Utne and the two others were taken to an immigration office presumably to review their papers. Read Article


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