Neighboring States React With Stronger Borders As Thousands Pour Out Of Collapsing Venezuela

Sharan Kumar Contributor
Font Size:

The countries neighboring Venezuela have tightened border measures as unrest reaches a tipping a point and people flee the starving socialist nation, reports CNN.

Peru and Ecuador have enacted new rules to help curtail the mass immigration from Venezuela. The influx of migrants leaving Venezuela has also led to mob violence in the case of Brazil, where it has gotten so chaotic in border regions that the Brazilian state of Roraima has asked the Government to halt Venezuelan immigration completely, Reuters reports. 

“We are immensely worried about the consequences this might present,” said Colombian Migration Director Christian Kruger, commenting on the restrictive Border measures taken against Venezuelan migrants by neighboring South American countries, warning that the measure will create congestion at border checkpoints, AP reports.

Severe Economic strife in Venezuela has made it an unlivable country. Much of the socialist country’s 31 million population faces starvation and gang violence due to economic downturn. Many Venezuelans have emigrated to escape these circumstances. According to the United Nations, over 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in the past 4 years.

“The exodus of Venezuelans from the country is one of Latin America’s largest mass-population movements in history,” said William Spindler, the spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Many neighboring South American countries have reacted negatively to the huge influx of Venezuelan migrants entering their borders. While initially supportive in accepting refugees, these SA nations have been overwhelmed by entries of Venezuelans. With no possible way to track these immigrants, nations  like Peru and Ecuador have recently created border restrictions that involve identification requirements. New migrants who are entering these countries must have proper ID or passports with them.

“If something happens to them, we have a way to identify them ….. Also, some bad apples — who don’t represent the majority, who are decent people — filter in and police should have the adequate tools to identify them.” said Peruvian Interior Minister Mauro Medina, referring to the new Passport Policy

Passport restrictions aren’t the only obstacle that Venezuelans will encounter. Rampant hostility from the neighboring state’s citizenry has also dissuaded some Venezuelans from migrating. On Saturday, there was a migrant camp in Brazil that was destroyed by local Brazilians after a theft dispute. Over 1,200 Venezuelans fled back to Venezuela because of this incident

Kruger questions the efficacy of these restrictive measures and if it will actually reduce the wave of migrants, stating “Requiring a passport isn’t going to stop this migration … This isn’t a migration of people leaving their country just because they want to. They’re leaving because they need to.”