Officials from Colombia, Brazil and Peru met in Bogota, hoping to solve the exodus that’s spilled over their borders.
More than 2 million Venezuelans and counting have fled their country’s economic and political crisis. CGTN’s Michelle Begue reports from Bogota with details of the talks.
Officials from Colombia, Peru and Brazil were in agreement: they do not want to close their borders to Venezuelan migrants.
“We are not stigmatizing a population. We want to generate order and security, not only for the countries that receive the migrants, but to the migrants who are arriving. We want to give opportunities to these people who are leaving their country because of great needs,” Colombian Immigration Director Christian Kruger said
That statement was made in Bogota, Colombia at the end of a two-day meeting between migration authorities from the region.
Venezuelan migrant crisis
According to official estimates, more than a million Venezuelan migrants have entered Colombia over the past 15 months. Many of them are trying to flee Venezuela’s economic and political crisis which has led to food and medicine shortages.
“Colombia has received the most migrants, followed by Peru. We have received 414,011 Venezuelan citizens up until Monday and 78,000 already have documents to stay for one year,” explained Eduardo Sevilla, Peru’s National Superintendent of Immigration.
During the week’s private meetings, each country talked about the impact the migration wave has had on their health system, education, and security. Authorities claim some Venezuelans who are applying for temporary visas are doing so in more than one country.
One of the solutions that came out of the discussions is to create a regional database that will allow officials to share information on the Venezuelan migrants.
Kruger insisted that none of the measures was meant to keep Venezuelans out. Although, in recent weeks, Ecuador and Peru took moves to tighten border entry rules.
“Controls only generate more illegality. If I put more prerequisites to migration, especially to those migrants who are doing this out of necessity or hunger, it won’t stop the migration,” said Colombia’s immigration director.
Officials also called for financial support from the international community. Another meeting will take place next week in Quito, Ecuador. And this time, the foreign ministers of each country reportedly will take.
Remi Piet on how Venezuela’s neighbors handle migrant crisis
To discuss the migrant summit’s outcome and what it means for Venezuelans fleeing their country, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes talked with Remi Piet, senior director at Americas Market Intelligence.