Peru declares emergency at border as Venezuelans flee crisis at home


Peru on Tuesday declared a health emergency at its northern border as thousands of Venezuelans, fleeing economic crisis and hunger at home, continued to stream into the country despite tightening entry requirements.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra declared a 60-day emergency in two provinces on Peru's northern border, citing"imminent danger" to health and sanitation due to immigration. The decree, published in the government's official gazette, did not give more details on the risks.

The exodus of Venezuelans to other South American countries is building toward a "crisis moment" comparable to events involving refugees in the Mediterranean, the United Nations said this week.

Top immigration officials from Peru, Colombia and Brazil have been meeting in Colombian capital Bogota for a two day summit to discuss how to cope with the influx.

There are close to 1 million Venezuelans now living in Colombia and more than 400,000 in Peru, the countries said in a joint statement on Tuesday after the meeting. Just 178,000 of those in Peru have legal permission to stay or are being processed.

The Venezuelan government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro has warned migrants they face difficult conditions abroad and invited them to return home. On Tuesday, it said it had repatriated 89 citizens who had migrated to Peru but sought to return after suffering "humiliation and cruel treatment."

The group had approached the Venezuelan embassy in Lima to seek repatriation and was flown back to Venezuela on state-run airline Conviasa, the government said.

Oscar Perez, an activist who works with Venezuelan migrants in Peru, said the repatriation was a publicity stunt by the Venezuelan government.

"The return of Venezuelans is part of a well orchestrated show by Nicolas Maduro," Perez said on Monday via Twitter.

An official at Peru's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the repatriation, saying the country was focused on regional solutions to address the situation.

Health authorities in Peru have previously expressed concerns about the spread of diseases such as measles and malaria from the migrants, many of whom lacked access to basic medicine and health care in their homeland.

Colombia and Peru said on Tuesday they will share information about migrants in a database, in an effort to track arrivals and fairly distribute aid.

This month, Peru and Ecuador began requiring passports instead of national ID cards from Venezuelan migrants. Peru has also tightened deadlines for Venezuelans to sign up for a temporary residency card that lets them work in the country legally.

On Saturday, the first day Peru imposed its passport rule, the number of Venezuelan migrants entering the country fell by more than half to 1,630, according to Peru's immigration agency. But hundreds more without passports entered the country by seeking asylum.

Foreign ministers from Ecuador and Colombia, and possibly Peru and Brazil, will meet to discuss Venezuelan migration in Ecuador next week, said Christian Kruger, the head of Colombia's migration agency.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Thanks to sanctions.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nope. Thanks to the right kind of socialism.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Valenzuela is a class textbook as to why socialism sucks and why it doesn’t work. No thanks!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Where are all the calls of racism from the left as three countries try to control their borders? It is fine for Peru and Brazil and Colombia, but not the USA?

The only solution for Venezuela is to drop their currency, switch to the US$ and have new, free, elections which do not allow any socialist to run for office. The current military leaders propping up the socialist govt need to be .... er ... removed and new military leaders who believe in capitalism have to ensure the elections against tampering.

After the elections, the stolen companies should be returned to the organizations from which they were stolen with a 50/50 sharing of profits between the company and the new national govt going forward. The people of Venezuela need to share in the profits from their natural resources.

Chile's govt wouldn't be a bad model to follow, though it is far from perfect. It does work.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Venezuela refuses to even acknowledge there's an emigration crisis

Regardless which direction one takes an economy, there's competent ways to do it, and there's incompetent ways to do it. This is the latter. Remember Zimbabwe did the same thing which led to its hyperinflation? (And now Mugabe is out, and Zimbabwe is introducing a different direction)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks to sanctions.

Venezuela's economy has already begun tanking even before sanctions were applied a couple years ago

But what Venezuela did was to double-down

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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