The larges exodus in Latin America’s history just got larger, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said. UN agencies sounded the alarm on Friday over the humanitarian needs after the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela reached 3.4 million people.
Around two million more Venezuelans are expected to flee their country during 2019, according to a United Nations forecast released Friday in Geneva. If true, the total number of Venezuelan migrants could reach 5.3 million a year from now.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, made a visit to the Colombian-Venezuelan border to understand the dimensions of the exodus of Venezuelans that, according to the UN statistics, 1.9 million have left Venezuela since 2015 due the Venezuela's economic and social situation.
United States declared Nicaragua’s civil unrest a threat to the region’s security, saying government repression of protests risked creating an overwhelming displacement of people akin to Venezuela or Syria. More than 300 people have been killed and 2,000 injured in crackdowns by Nicaraguan police and armed groups in protests that began in April over an abortive plan by leftist President Daniel Ortega’s government to reduce welfare benefits.
The Brazilian government may restrict entrance of Venezuelans at the border in the remote northwestern state of Roraima, President Michel Temer said on Wednesday, after a flood of migrants has strained local services and sparked violence with residents.
The exodus of migrants from Venezuela is building towards a crisis moment comparable to events involving refugees in the Mediterranean, the United Nations migration agency said.
The Ministry of the Interior of Peru has announced that as of the dawn of next Saturday, August 25, Venezuelans will be required to present their passport to be admitted to the country. This measure coincides with that taken by Ecuador this week when it reached record figures in the entry of Venezuelan citizens in that country. The National Superintendency of Migrations of Peru recorded last Saturday the largest number of Venezuelan citizens who entered the country in a single day: more than 5,100.
The Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro has sent a message to the Venezuelan people that are experiencing an involuntary exodus, forced upon them by the growing economic and institutional degradation of the country. By the end of this year it is estimated that over 10% of the Venezuela population will have left the country.
At least 8,000 Venezuelans cross the border between Colombia and Venezuela daily to the department of Arauca, southeast of Colombia. Although the migratory flow at this point does not compare with the thirty or forty thousand Venezuelans who cross the Simón Bolívar bridge between Santander and Táchira every day, in Arauca the majority of migrants arrive in conditions of extreme vulnerability.