Colombian government tightens border controls as Venezuela crisis worsens


February 11, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos

BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombian Director of Migration Christian Kruger outlined and explained Colombia’s new migration policy, particularly towards Venezuela, at a press conference in Bogota on Friday.

“We cannot continue opening [our borders] freely for an indefinite amount of time in this situation, because clearly we are a country that also has our own needs and we have to respond to what is going on today,” he said. 

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“In that northern part of Norte de Santander, the number of security forces on the ground will increase by 3,000, a little more than 3,000, among them police and the army, in order to reinforce that area and avoid what is going on there. We want [Venezuelan migrants] to use the authorized border crossings for migration, because these procedures allow us to protect in some way, those who are entering our country,” he continued. 

“If you were to have open rules, totally open, what is going to happen is that it will fill up and incentivise a kind of mass migration. Each measure has been looked at from that point of view, in terms of figures for example, and for the impact it can produce for different sectors of society, for the educational side, health, security, so the government will be able to respond,” Kruger explained. 

“I believe that the Colombian government has been acting in a responsible manner before the current migration situation, the problem in Venezuela. All of the measures which we are talking about, the issuing of cards for border mobility [TMF] and those who have it now we will respect that, [the Venezuelan] is the only foreigner who we have allowed to take out a special permanent residence visa. They are the only ones who we have given flexibility with regards to accessing visas also. They are the nationality with the highest number of visas,” he concluded.

Venezuela is suffering from a severe economic crisis that has been systematically designed against it by Colombia and the United States.

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