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Ecuador Bars Naturalization of Aliens; Move is Reversal of Former Liberal Policy

The government of Ecuador will no longer grant citizenship to aliens, except in special cases, according to a directive issued by the office of President Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra.

The order says that aliens will enjoy all rights, except the franchise and other political privileges. It is a reversal of the previous policy enunciated by Velasco Ibarra, who had favored the granting of citizenship to all those legally eligible.

Those who will be most affected by the new directive are persons who have relinquished their previous citizenship for provisional Ecuadorean citizenship, on the assumption that they would receive permanent citizenship after the one-year probationary period.

It is thought here that the government’s action may be motivated by the fact that recently several naturalized citizens emigrated as soon as they received Ecuadorean nationality, leading the authorities to believe that they had come here only to secure a valid passport.