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Legal Assistance

Upon entry into Ecuador, all Americans become subject to Ecuador's local laws and regulations. Should an American become involved in a situation that may lead to a criminal charges or a legal dispute, the Consular Section can provide a list of local attorneys who have indicated their willingness to provide legal assistance. Neither the Consular Section, nor the U.S. Embassy can provide legal counsel or pay for legal expenses. Consular staff will, however, do whatever possible to protect your legitimate interests and insure you are not discriminated against under local law.

Arrest and Detention 

If arrested, American citizens should immediately ask permission to notify the U.S. Embassy. If refused, politely insist to call the Embassy. Local authorities may offer to release you if you leave your passport as a bond. If surrendering your passport is the only means of securing your release expeditiously, be sure to obtain a receipt with the passport number, date of issue and place of issue, plus the name of the person holding the passport and his official title. You should notify the Embassy immediately after your release.

Upon notification of an arrest, Consular staff will make every effort to visit the police station or prison within 48 hours. During the visit, Consular officials will provide information on the American citizen rights according to local laws, a list of attorneys willing to assist Americans, and (upon request) contact friends or relatives to arrange for the transfer of money, food, and clothing. Consular employees will ask the prisoner to sign a Privacy Act Waiver indicating with whom (if anyone) we may discuss the case. Consular employees will continue to monitor the case throughout the duration and Consular staff members will visit on a regular basis until the American's release.

For more information, please visit the Department of State website.

List of Attorneys

Provided for information only. The American Embassy in Quito, Ecuador assumes no liability for the professional ability or reputation of the persons whose names appear on this list. The names listed are arranged alphabetically; the order in which they appear has no other significance.


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