The umanitarian and economical crisis in Venezuela, marked by over two years of shortages, is forcing hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans to flee their country’s misery and pouring across borders into nearby countries, particularly Colombia and Brazil, creating a sharpening challenge for the region.
As the collapse of Venezuela’s economy deepens, the number of those fleeing is accelerating. Nearly 3 million Venezuelans—a 10th of the population—have left the oil-rich country over the past two decades of leftist rule. Almost half that number—some 1.2 million people—have gone in the past two years.
Some 550,000 Venezuelans were in Colombia at the end of 2017, a 62% increase from a year before, according to the Colombian government, with another 50,000 entering so far this year.
Many are entering via the border that Venezuela shares with the Brazilian state of Roraima living in precarious conditions on the streets and in shelters in Boa Vista, Roraima’s capital, or heading to Manaus, capital state of Amazonas. According to Brazilian state of Roraima, more than 40,000 Venezuelans have entered and stayed in Brazil since 2014.
Those numbers mirror the 600,000 Syrian asylum seekers in Germany, and the 700,000 Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar in last year’s brutal crackdown.
The work documents the condition of the Venezuelan migrants at the borders with Colombia and Brazil, the countries in South Amererica that have received more migrants do far.