More than 1.8 million Venezuelans are based in Colombia, according to the most recent report from immigration authorities, with a cut as of February 29 and representing growth of about 3% compared to December.
“We went from having 1,717,000 Venezuelans to more than 1,825,000. Where is the largest number of Venezuelans concentrated? In Bogotá, with more than 361,000, equivalent to about 20%, and (in the department) Norte de Santander ( border with Venezuela) with more than 209,000, equivalent to 11.5% of the total, “said Colombia Migration Director Juan Francisco Espinosa.
They are followed by the Caribbean departments of Atlántico with 168,000 and La Guajira, also bordering Venezuela, with more than 165,000, while Antioquia (northwest), of which Medellín is the capital, is in fifth place, with 150,000.
Colombian authorities also detailed that 44% of Venezuelans in the country, some 800,000 people, are on a regular basis, while the remaining one million are found irregularly.
Migración Colombia also pointed out that despite the fact that there was a growth in the number of Venezuelans in the country, this is lower compared to the averages that were being handled from 60,000 that settled in Colombia per month to about 30,000 monthly between January and February .
On the other hand, the immigration authority pointed out that the exit of Venezuelans from the country registered a growth of close to 14% in the first two months of the year, as it went from just over 55,000 registrations between January and February 2019, to around 70,000 in 2020.
Regarding the departure of Venezuelans from Colombia to other countries, in January and February more than 70,000 were registered, of which 50,000 were made by the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá.
RESPONSE TO THE MAYORESS
The mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, was accused of xenophobia for demanding that the national government resolve the need for housing for Venezuelans living in the capital who cannot pay their rent during the quarantine decreed between March 25 and April 13 by the coronavirus, of which there are 1,267 cases, of which 25 died.
“What a pity that we cannot pay that. We pay for childbirth, birth, health, garden, school. What a pity that the only thing that we cannot pay is the rent (to immigrants) and for that we ask for a little help,” said the mayor. .
In this regard, Espinosa assured that within the functions of Migration Colombia is not to provide accommodation, food, transportation or any type of assistance tool to foreigners.
“The issue of Venezuela worries us because we are not simply talking about numbers, we are talking about human beings, boys, girls and adolescents, realities and needs. This is a time when we must work together as a country for the same objective. No it is time to avoid responsibilities, to seek to wash your hands, much less to generate xenophobia, “he said.
For this reason, he assured that it is necessary “to find a way to articulate efforts, because when it comes to helping, you cannot differentiate between nationalities, migratory conditions, sex, race, religious beliefs, or political orientations.”
“We are talking about people whom humanity requires us to help. From Migración Colombia, according to our functions, we have generated flexibility mechanisms such as the PEP (Special Permission to Stay), of which, to date, we already have more than 680,000 users, “he said.