Around 10,000 Venezuelans, between refugees and migrants, reside in Bolivia, which has become a new destination for those who escape the crisis in their country and have also abandoned other nations such as Colombia, Ecuador or Peru, according to a report by the Organization. of American States (OAS) released this Friday.RELATED
“Despite the fact that in this country there is still no official register of Venezuelans, according to civil society estimates, it is calculated that Bolivia has received nearly 10,000 Venezuelan migrants and refugees to date, who have been invisible for a decade and a half for reasons politicians “, details the document entitled” Situation of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Bolivia “.
The publication, produced by the OAS Office of the General Secretariat for the Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees, indicates that men constitute 60% of Venezuelans in Bolivia, a country that has granted refuge to only 57 of these foreigners (27 women and 30 men).
Citing figures from the Bolivian National Refugee Commission (Conare), the report points out that a total of 334 Venezuelans requested refuge in that country in 2018, a figure that rose to 405 in 2019 and that between January and February reached 182 requests .
“It is expected that the number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees and, therefore, the number of requests, will continue to increase. The majority of Venezuelans seeking refuge do not come from Venezuela, but from Peru, Ecuador or Colombia,” the text adds, which attributes the departure from these countries to the “difficulties encountered”.
Most Venezuelans have entered Bolivian territory by land through Desaguadero, on the border with Peru, and Guayamerín, on the border with Brazil.
La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz have become the cities with the largest number of Venezuelans, the study points out, indicating that only last year 11,261 people entered Bolivia with a Venezuelan passport and 5,982 did so with an Identity Card.
The data was collected during a visit by that OAS unit, led by the Commissioner of the Secretary General for the Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees, David Smolansky, on March 11 and 12, which included meetings with authorities and with Venezuelans. residents in that country.
In the report, Smolansky highlights the progress made by the transitional government led by Jeanine Áñez in caring for this community, but considers as one of the challenges “guaranteeing the continuity of the new migration policy towards Venezuelans, as well as the permanence of the resolutions approved “, in the event that a new Administration is installed after the presidential elections are held.
In addition, he warned that although Bolivia is not one of the main receiving countries of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, it is possible that this migratory flow will increase if the “migratory restrictions imposed by some nations in the region” are maintained and the crisis deepens in its country of origin.