Thousands of Venezuelans entered Ecuador from Colombia via the Rumichaca bridge on Sunday, hours before the new mandatory humanitarian visa went into effect. Images show immigrants queuing up to access Ecuador in time to avoid having to obtain a visa to enter the country.

Despite electrical and Internet problems, 11,000 Venezuelans managed to cross the border. Some plan to stay in Ecuador, while others intend to continue to Peru to reunite with their families.

Since Ecuador announced that only Venezuelans with passports and who have purchased a visa would be allowed into the country from Monday, roughly 4,500 Venezuelans a day have reportedly been crossing the border bridge.

According to the United Nations, around 4 million Venezuelans have left their country due to the economic and political crisis in recent years, with around 1.4 million of them ending up in Colombia. The move by Ecuador to make it harder for Venezuelans to enter mirrors similar steps taken by other Latin American governments including Chile and Peru.

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