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As More Venezuelans Leave, Neighboring Countries Take Notice

ISSN:1060-4189
LADB Article ID: 80286
Category/Department: Venezuela
Date: 2017-05-05
By: Janelle Conaway

With Venezuela’s political, economic, security, and humanitarian crisis deepening, South America is seeing a growing wave of Venezuelan migrants. These are no longer the most privileged Venezuelans—many of those left in the early years of the Bolivarian revolution—but often the more desperate. Some are making perilous journeys into the hinterlands of Brazil, while tens of thousands more have poured into Colombia—in many cases, returning to the country their families had fled decades ago. On a much smaller scale, some Venezuelans have even set out to sea in rickety boats to try their luck in Aruba or Curaçao. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) recently called on countries in the region to take special measures to protect Venezuelan migrants. Some countries are already taking action. Brazil’s National Immigration Council announced in March that it would grant two-year residence permits to Venezuelans, “a move that could ease pressure on the overwhelmed Brazilian asylum process if adequately implemented,” noted a report by Human Rights Watch. Earlier this year, Peru began issuing special temporary resident permits to Venezuelans, allowing them to study, work, access health services, and pay taxes while their immigration papers are being processed, or until they can return home.

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