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  • Bolivians leave the Chile/Bolivia border, after the mayor of Iquique offered shelter to 825 migrants stranded in Colchane.

    Bolivians leave the Chile/Bolivia border, after the mayor of Iquique offered shelter to 825 migrants stranded in Colchane. | Photo: Twitter/@ResistenciaBo

Published 13 April 2020
Opinion

The migrants had been stranded at the border between Chile and Bolivia for a week, unable to re-enter their country.

More than 800 Bolivians were forced to remain in the Chilean city of Iquique after the Bolivian government prevented their return to the country.

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Over 530 Bolivians Remain Stranded at the Border With Chile

For almost a week, 825 Bolivians were stranded in the Chilean municipality of Colchane, after the de facto government of Jeanine Añez denied them entry with military protection.

With their belongings in suitcases or wrapped in tablecloths, 10 buses with 450 Bolivians left Colchane to Iquique this Monday. The rest will be transferred tomorrow.

"We wanted to return to Bolivia, with our families, but they wouldn't let us," Justina, a Bolivian emigrant in Chile, said between tears to the local press.

"There are already 700 compatriots at the Chilean border who are not allowed to enter Bolivia. A Chilean mayor cries to Jeanine Añez, "Leave politics aside, these citizens are human beings, it hurts my heart to see them..." Bolivia in dictatorship."
 

The conditions in which the hundreds of Bolivians in Chile, including many children and elderly people, will remain are still unknown. 

Although the authorities in Iquique are committed to providing shelter, the emigrants fear that the government of President Sebastian Piñera will change its mind.

"I want to see my children again, and I will not stop until I do. I have hope," Bolivian émigré Evita Solares told the local press.

But, for the moment, "we have no choice but to return to Iquique. We had no help from anyone in Colchane, and we were dying of hunger," Solares concluded.

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