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  • Venezuelan migrants await in Bogota, Colombia, for a bus that will take them to the border with Venezuela, July 20, 2020.

    Venezuelan migrants await in Bogota, Colombia, for a bus that will take them to the border with Venezuela, July 20, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 1 August 2020
Opinion

The illegal arrival of Venezuelans has triggered the spread of the disease in the country.

Venezuela's government Saturday informed that since the beginning of the pandemic in the country, at least 4,000 citizens have crossed the border with Colombia illegally and under health risks, as they were possibly infected with coronavirus. 

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"They told us that coming legally was terrible, and that we would starve and be mistreated," a young man who tried to arrive in Venezuela illegally explained, referring to Colombian smugglers.

The illegal arrival of Venezuelans has triggered the spread of the disease in the country. It was found that most of the national migrants who arrived in the country from the area of Maicao, Colombia, have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Most migrants avoid the health controls established by the country's authorities at the border crossing.

The so-called "trocheros" (Colombian traffickers) ensure that migrants return safely to their country in exchange for over US$100 per stretch to leave Colombia and see their families again. 

" Other nationals did not risk crossing into Venezuela on the trails. They entered through Paraguachon and followed the health protocol. "We are grateful to Governor Omar Prieto. The military and the school principal treated us as human beings."

The reality is that many migrants do not reach their final destination, as they are abused or swindled.  

"We were left in the truck and we were robbed. Luckily, Venezuela's immigration found us and brought us here legally," a woman commented to teleSUR correspondent Madeleine Garcia.

Venezuela's government is focusing its efforts on containing illegal human trafficking at the border. Thanks to the Integral Defense Zone in Zulia (ZODI), many Venezuelans have been detected and taken to isolation centers.

Those who arrive in the country legally across the border with Colombia are living a different reality. We are grateful," a Venezuela's citizen said.

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