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  • With the official withdrawal, its headquarters, which are located in Quito, on property donated by the Rafael Correa administration will return to state hands, leaving the body without any building.

    With the official withdrawal, its headquarters, which are located in Quito, on property donated by the Rafael Correa administration will return to state hands, leaving the body without any building. | Photo: UNASUR

Published 24 September 2019
Opinion

In a somewhat contradictory ruling, the seven judges deemed the denunciation as constitutional setting the stage to finalize the formal withdrawal.

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that the denunciation of the constitutive treaty of Union of South American Nations (Unasur) made by right-wing Lenin Moreno’s government and approved by the National Assembly, although constitutional could generate unconstitutionality if rights are violated.

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Ecuadorean Congress Approves UNASUR Withdrawal

In a somewhat contradictory ruling, the seven judges deemed the denunciation as constitutional setting the stage to finalize the formal withdrawal. However, within the ruling they argued that by approving the formal withdrawal the rights of people who have accessed the special migration treatment provided by the membership to the bloc will be violated, thus making the denunciation itself unconstitutional. 

According to article 83 of Ecuador’s Law of Human Mobility, the Ecuadorean state considers as "South American citizens in Ecuador those people from nations that belong to Unasur," articles 84 to 89 go on to stipulate rights and specific benefits that these people are subject to such as residency requirements, entry and exit rules, among other preferential treatment.

The ruling from the Constitutional Court, despite its final decision, goes on to argue that by withdrawing from Unasur these rights would be inapplicable, thus article 11 of the Constitution would be enacted as it reads that “any action or omission of a regressive nature will be unconstitutional that diminish, impair or unreasonably cancels the exercise of rights.”

 Group of Puebla regrets the withdrawal of Ecuador from UNASUR | To reduce global asymmetries we must unite, not fragment. We trust that Ecuador will once again be an inspiration in the struggle for the unity of our peoples.

This comes as the National Assembly of Ecuador approved on Sept. 17 a report denouncing Unasur’s treaty, formalizing the process to definitively leave the regional body.

With 79 votes in favor, 36 against, 4 abstentions and no null votes, the national legislators approved the report that had been prepared by the Sovereignty, Integration and International Relations Commission and awaited the ratification of the plenary session of congress.

On March 11, the government of right-wing Lenin Moreno becomes the second to formalize its abandonment of the treaty, joining Colombian President Ivan Duque, who on Aug. 27, 2018, made a similar decision. Other conservative and far-right governments such as Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, and Peru have denounced the treaty as well.

With the official withdrawal, its headquarters, which are located in Quito, on property donated by the Rafael Correa administration will return to state hands, leaving the body without any building. In July 2018, Lenin Moreno announced his plans for the building, where he hopes to create an intercultural university.

However, the agreement was made between the Prefecture of Pichincha, where the building is located, and Unasur, meaning that legally when the country leaves the body it should go back to the province’s local government, which at the moment is headed by Paola Pabon from former president Rafael Correa’s Citizen’s Revolution Party.

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