Analysis 12-09-2018

OAS Secretary General arrives in Colombia to evaluate impact of Venezuelan migration

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, arrives in Colombia to lead the visit of a technical group of that agency that will be in charge of evaluating the impact of the immigration of Venezuelans in the country and the cooperation that will be provided to face the situation.

"Secretary Almagro will arrive in Bogota this Wednesday [September 12] at 1:45 pm (6:45 pm) and his agenda will begin in Cartagena on Thursday [September 13], where he will meet with President Iván Duque and with Chancellor Carlos Holmes Trujillo, "the Colombian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to the agenda, Almagro will travel on September 14 with his delegation to the city of Cúcuta (northeast, border with Venezuela), where together with Trujillo will meet "with local and regional authorities to discuss the impacts of the migration crisis and the humanitarian assistance required. "

During this meeting, the authorities will present the measures implemented to assist migrants, as well as the humanitarian mechanisms and actions to address these populations, the Foreign Ministry said.

Finally, Almagro and Trujillo "will perform an on-site recognition of the infrastructure available for the attention of Venezuelan migrants on the Simón Bolívar international bridge."

The visit of Almagro shows that "we are advancing in an accelerated way in the regional recognition of the crisis and that will lead to regional measures being taken," said the Colombian foreign minister.

Almagro will develop the work agenda in Colombia in the company of David Smolansky and Betilde Muñoz, coordinators of the technical group; the head of the Mission to Support the Peace Process in Colombia of the OAS, Roberto Menéndez, and José Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch.

After the visit, the technical group must make a report on the situation in the border areas and submit a report that allows channeling aid and economic resources for the countries that receive immigrants, so after Colombia will also visit Ecuador, Peru and Brazil , among other countries in the region.

Almagro previously announced that the OAS will raise funds to help Venezuelan citizens who had to emigrate because of the economic crisis in their country.

According to the state Migration Colombia, more than 1.3 million Venezuelans have entered the country in the last 18 months, although for the moment there have been no protests or xenophobic outbreaks against immigrants as they have already happened in Brazil, so the central government has asked the international community for help in dealing with the contingency.

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