More than 200,000 people have crossed the border crossings between Colombia and Venezuela in the last 72 hours after the end of the year-end parties, official sources said Thursday.
“In the last days we have registered a growth in the number of entrances and exits of the country by the border with Venezuela, with an average of more than 47,000 entries and 40,000 departures per day, only by North of Santander”, affirmed the director in charge of Migration Colombia, Andrés Martínez Acosta.
The official said in a statement from his office that in the last three days “migratory flows begin to resume their usual dynamics.”
Martinez said that the increase in the number of people is due to the fact that many of them return after traveling for the end of the year parties or to buy basic necessities that are scarce in their country due to the social and economic crisis.
“During the last weeks of 2019 thousands of Venezuelans left the Colombian territory with the sole purpose of giving their families a different year-end parties to those who have lived in recent years because of the dictatorship of (Nicolás) Maduro” , he said.
Colombia and Venezuela share a porous border of 2,219 kilometers that extends from the Amazon rainforest to the Caribbean Sea.
According to the latest figures of Migration Colombia, more than 1.6 million Venezuelans have settled in the country, of which 720,000 are on a regular basis.
Of the 1,630,903 Venezuelans in Colombia, a total of 327,635 (20%) are based in Bogotá; 93,140 in Barranquilla, capital of the Caribbean department of the Atlantic; 92,864 in Cúcuta, which has the main border crossing between the two countries, and 78,622 in Medellín, Antioquia (northwest).
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have pointed out that in total more than four million Venezuelans have left their country and that to meet their needs, 1,350 million dollars are required.
Faced with this situation, Martínez said that the Maduro government “has applied an expelling policy towards Venezuelan citizens,” who leave the country out of “necessity.”