News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 31, 2018: Many Venezuelans fleeing the economic and political crisis back home, are still arriving at Peru, despite the stricter entry restrictions imposed by the Peruvian authorities.
Earlier this week, Peru imposed new entry restrictions in an effort to stem the flow of migrants from Venezuela. Previously, they could enter with just ID documents, but now they must have passports.
However, many hungry and exhausted Venezuelans are still pouring into Tumbes, a small town along the Peruvian border with Ecuador.
Thirty-six-year-old Yasmira Gomez is one of them. She left Venezuela with her two children five days ago.
“The situation is really bad. My husband left in April to look for work abroad and now he’s here with a little more stability, so we’ve come to be reunited with him,” said Gomez.
Applying for asylum is the only option left for Venezuelans arriving in Peru without a passport, though they can get a work permit while living in the country.
Migration officials thought the number of Venezuelan migrants might drop significantly because the new entry requirement. But now hundreds more are seeking asylum in Peru.
“We thought there would be many less migrants, but it’s not like that. There are still many more migrants now,” said Roxana Ortiz, staffer at the Peruvian Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations.
The influx of migrants has prompted the authorities to declare an imminent danger to health and sanitation in this northern region. Medics now offer free vaccinations to the migrants to prevent the spread of diseases – from measles to malaria.
This week, officials from Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil met in Bogota to discuss joint strategies on health care, schooling and employment for migrants.
On Wednesday, there were further meetings in Lima to formulate a request to organizations including the UN and the Red Cross to step up financial and logistical support, said Enrique Bustamante, head of policy at Peru’s immigration agency.
Ministers from as many as 14 countries and 10 international organizations are set to meet from Sept. 3-4 in Quito, Ecuador, to discuss the crisis more broadly. (SOURCE: CCTV & BLOOMBERG)