Colombia amps up border controls for flood of Venezuelan migrants

Latin America

At any hour of the day, Venezuelan migrants can be found at Bogota’s main bus terminal. They’re waiting to catch transportation to a new home, and life, in Colombia.

CGTN’S Michelle Begue reports from Bogota.

Colombian migration authorities have said there are currently 600,000 Venezuelans in the country. That’s double the number from August 2017. Venezuelans are fleeing the deteriorating economic and political crisis. Migrants are looking for food, medicine and work.

Last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced new migration measures. He said they’d help gauge the number of Venezuelan migrants in the country and manage humanitarian aid.

“The general principle of the approach we have and that we are going to reinforce is to put more controls, more migratory controls, and that these controls will be stricter,” Santos said.

The government also announced they would put a halt to special migration cards. Those cards allow 1.5 million Venezuelans to cross the border, to buy food and other products, on a daily basis.

Also part of the announced measures is an additional 2,000 military officers to control the border with Venezuela. Venezuelan authorities said that this is a ploy by the Colombian and U.S. governments to invade Venezuela. It’s an accusation that Colombian Armed Forces deny.