Colombia-Venezuela: The Humanitarian Crisis of the Venezuelan Migration Flow - Migratory Flows at the Borders of Our World - Libros y Revistas - VLEX 851096872

Colombia-Venezuela: The Humanitarian Crisis of the Venezuelan Migration Flow

AutorMauricio García Durán, S. J./Daniel Cuevas
    
  
   
Mauricio García Durán, S. J., a nd
Daniel Cueva s
e border between Colombia and Venezuela is the most active in both
countries and one of the most dynamic in all Latin America and the
Caribbean. Large migratory ows have passed through this border due to
complications arisen in Colombia and Venezuela over the past years. It is
seen as a critical border, aected by many economic, political, social, and
cultural crises faced by the two countries. Migratory ows through this
shared border have changed over time, depending on the living conditions
in one country have served as an incentive to move to the other. Accord-
ingly, the border is dened by two migratory ows in both direc tions.
Firstly, between  and  (“Farc:  años enquistadas en Norte de
Santander”, ), the internal armed conict in Colombia and the oil boom
in Venezuela led to a major migratory ow from Colombia to Venezuela.
However, even when government-owned media in Venezuela claimed higher
numbers (Ramírez et al., ), more realistic statist ics suggest that at least
one and half mill ion Colombians sought refuge and econom ic alternatives
in Venezuela (Centro Nacional de Memoria Historica [], ). On the
other hand, from  to , the direction of the migr atory ow changed.
President Maduro stated that there were . million Colombians in Venezuela. However, this is an
exaggerated number compared to other gures provided by other governmental institutions. In ,
a population census registered an estimated of , Colombians in Venezuela in addition to the
, Colombians that may be irregular migrants for a total of . million (Ramírez et al., , pp.
-). It is unclear if President Maduro includes in his calculations the children of Colombians born
in Venezuela who would, in fact, be Venezuelans and the Colombians nationalized there.
Historic Memory Nationa l Center (, in Spanish) (, p. ) reported , Colom bians
with the sta tus of refugee or sim ilar in Venezuela in   for a maximum of ,  in precedent
Mauricio García Durán, S. J., and Daniel Cuevas
Traditionally, migration dynamics in the A mericas are marked by intra- and
extra-regional patterns. In recent years, Venezuela has seen changes in its
migratory processes and ows to traditional destinations have intensied,
as well as new destinations in the region and the world. For the year ,
, Venezuelans were reported to be living outside their country. In ,
the numbers rose to ,, (International Organization for Migration
[], ) and in  (the last update was on  June) this number rose to
,, (Plataforma de Coordinación para Refugiados y Migrantes de Ven-
ezuela (), ). Currently, there is a predominant ow of migrants from
Venezuela to Colombia, including Colombians returning to their country
and Venezuelans who are crossing the border, to establish themselves tem-
porarily, permanently, or as a rst stop as part of a longer trip to other South
American countries li ke Ecuador, Peru, Chile, or Argentina.
e number of Colombians who returned to their home country
from Venezuela due to unfavourable conditions has continued to grow. In
, when the Venezuelan government closed the border, , Colombians
were deported and , “voluntarily” Colombians returned (Migración
Colombia, b, p. ) aer being pressured by the Venezuelan government.
at pressure escalated to the destruc tion of Colombians’ houses in illegal
shantytowns in San Antonio and Ureña, and there are reports of the Ven-
ezuelan government transporting Colombians in buses to the border and
urging them to cross (Servicio Jesuita a Ref ugiados en Colombia [-],
). Although the numbers are unclear, the balance between entries/exits
of Colombians from/to Venezuela in  shows until September a dier-
ence of approximately , people, which indicates that Colombians are
trying to retu rn to their home country (World Bank, ).
It is estimated that more than one million Venezuelans are already
living in Colombia (Migración Colombia,  b) , and it looks that this num-
ber will grow since the situat ion in Venezuela seems far from being solved.
e economic, political, and social cri ses in Venezuela is creating an impor-
tant intra-regional migratory ow from Venezuela to other Latin American
countries triggering a huma nitarian crisis in some of them, particu larly in
Colombia. is migratory ow and the critica l situation taking place at the
Colombian-Venezuelan border will be the topic studied in this a rticle.
First, we will do a general characterization of the geopolitical situa-
tion on both sides of the border. en, we will analyze the migratory ows,
particularly the Venezuelan one, including its scale, its dynamics, and the
proles of the migrants, thei r demographic traits, and the lack of protections

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