Colombia Opens First Shelter for Veneuzuela Refugees

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For nearly two decades, Venezuela has been suffering its worst economic crisis in its history causing thousands of people to flee the country and cross the border to Colombia.

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According to Bloomberg, about 35,000 Venezuelans cross into Colombia each day to find food and medicine that is scarce back home. However, recently those short trips have turned into people looking to stay and flee the country. 

This past weekend Colombia opened its first shelter on its eastern border for refugees who cross the border legally. The shelter provides shelter of up to 48 hours for 120 people a day and gives priority to children, elderly, and pregnant woman and is administered by the Red Cross.

However, the inflation of migrants is causing controversy because of the already-stretched resources in Colombia. “We are being as generous as possible with the Venezuelans’ situation,” Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguín told reporters in Bogota last week. “But there must be order.”

Last week, authorities deported 130 Venezuelans who entered the country illegally and were sleeping outdoors on a basketball court in the border region, Cucuta.

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Holguín said that on Thursday President Juan Manuel Santos will visit Cucuta and adopt new measures for Venezuelans in Colombia.