Saturday, January 20, 2018

Venezuelans Are Fleeing

For years, Ecuador dealt with large numbers of Colombians fleeing violence. Now Colombia is experiencing the same on its eastern side with staggering numbers of Venezuelans. In 2017, 796,000 Venezuelans obtained a Colombian visa but only 276,000 returned. Many are going to Colombia as a first step toward somewhere else--all over Latin America, the U.S., and Spain. 60% of Venezuelans leaving Colombia were going somewhere other than Venezuela and a chunk of those who return live on the border and have a special visa for free movement.

Put another way, 1.7 percent of the Venezuelan population went to Colombia last year because Venezuela was too unlivable. Many of the receiving countries are not in a good position to receive a large amount of unexpected migrants. Venezuela itself is facing drain of every kind: no capital, brain drain, drop in oil production, food scarcity, and so on. Unless something changes, the exodus will continue.


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