World Ecuador and Colombia to open shared border from Dec. 1
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By Alexandra Valencia
QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador and Colombia on Sunday agreed to the bilateral reopening of their shared border from the start of December after it was closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, and pledged to work together to combat drug trafficking.
The shared border was shut in March 2020 as both governments looked to curb the spread of coronavirus. The controlled reopening, complete with epidemiological measures, will bring greater security and economic activity to the zone.
Over 50 dead and 12 injured after clashes at same Ecuadorian prison where a riot left more than 100 dead in September
At least 58 inmates died and 12 were injured after violence broke out at one of Ecuador's largest prisons.Dozens of inmates were killed and injured in clashes early Saturday in Litoral Penitentiary, the same prison in the Guayas Province where more than 100 were killed just over a month ago, Guayas Governor Pablo Arosemena said in an announcement.
"Opening the borders means no Ecuadorian or Colombian family will have to pay criminal bands charging to cross via alternative routes, rather than the official ones, which will be opened on December 1," Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso said in Quito following a meeting with his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque.
During the meeting, Colombia offered to support Ecuador in the fight against drug trafficking.
Ecuador is beset by a wave of crime that has caused homicides to spike which the country's authorities link to the trafficking and consumption of drugs.
On Friday Lasso extended a state of emergency across Ecuador to keep military patrols on the streets in areas with high rates of homicide and other crimes associated with the drug trade.
Tension mounts as soldiers and migrants mass at Belarus-Poland border
Belarus's Russian-backed leader insists he's "not seeking a fight," but Polish and European leaders accuse him of mounting a "hybrid attack," using innocent migrants as a weapon.There were unconfirmed reports of gunfire on Tuesday as tension soared in the months-long crisis between Russia-aligned Belarus, and EU and NATO member Poland. Military forces have entrenched on both sides of the border, and migrants desperate to reach EU soil are caught in the middle, in dire conditions.
"Ecuador will receive everything it needs from Colombia to fight against organized crime," Colombia's President Ivan Duque said.
The two presidents also discussed repatriation of prisoners. Duque said the process to repatriate 170 prisoners will proceed in line with laws and protocols.
Violence in Ecuador's prisons has spiked this year as criminal gangs duke it out for supremacy. The most recent riot in the Penitenciaria del Litoral prison saw 62 prisoners killed.
In recent years Ecuador's prison system has struggled with violence, overcrowding, and poor living conditions for some 39,000 prisoners.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Oliver Griffin; editing by Diane Craft)
Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall .
Senate Republicans are struggling to save funding for construction of former President Trump's long-sought wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, as Democrats press forward with plans to rescind nearly $2 billion in funding for his signature project.Republicans in the upper chamber are pushing for the funding already allocated toward the barrier's construction to be used to help continue progress on the project, a stalled effort that would likely take years longer and more money to complete. Earlier this month, a group of Republcians - GOP Sens. Mike Braun (Ind.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.