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The first stage of the opening of borders between Colombia and Ecuador began Wednesday with the objective of continuing cooperation between the two countries.
Presidents Iván Duque of Colombia and Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador announced that the border zone would open on December 1. Yet, it was postponed due to the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
In the first phase, the opening of the Rumichaca bridge took place between 08:00 and 17:00 local time for trade and international merchandise transport.
For the reopening, Colombian migration authorities established a special plan for cargo vehicles, counting on the support of the departmental and local health offices, which require a vaccination card for drivers and crew members with at least 15 days of the last dose from the date of arrival.
In addition, permanent use of masks will prove mandatory for all travelers and maintain a distance of at least one meter between each person.
The Colombian-Ecuadorian border stretched for 586 kilometers and was delimited by the Suárez-Muñoz Vernaza Treaty of July 15, 1916, and the Liévano-Lucio Agreement of August 23, 1975.
Since the late 1990s, diplomatic relations between the two countries began to undergo significant tensions associated with the intensification of the Colombian armed conflict and its international connections.
Illegal border-crossings and more aggressive military operations and anti-drug policies by Colombia with the help of the United States also have played a defining role.