Home > Uncategorized > Association: 450,000 Colombians seeking refugee status in Venezuela

Association: 450,000 Colombians seeking refugee status in Venezuela

  • There are about 4,500,000 Colombian residents in Venezuela

El Universal: Despite the lingering decline of domestic economy, the numbers managed by the Association of Colombians in Venezuela show that the inflow of Colombians keeps on the rise.

Juan Carlos Tanus, the head of said association, explained that based on their records, only by land 254 Colombians entered Venezuela by land in 2008. In 2009, the number heightened to 301, up to 350 nowadays. He said that, according to their research, 60% of Colombians remain in an attempt at improving their quality of life.

Neighbors in numbers: The Association of Colombians in Venezuela has completed three studies on the reality of Colombian immigrants so far. The 2009 report will be ready in a couple of weeks. The survey conducted in 2008 found that there were somewhat over 4,000,000 Colombians in Venezuela.

According to Tanus, the Colombian government acknowledges only 730,000 Colombian residents. Venezuelan authorities, for their part, cannot tell how many of them are. “No government agency has undertaken a study on the status of the immigrant population,” he said.

The studies of the Association show that 1,250,000 Colombians in Venezuela have resident status; almost one million are non-residents — the holders of Venezuelan identity cards effective for one year; 680,000 illegal immigrants, and 526,000 nationalized. Add to this number the “regularized.” This group was the recipient of a process carried out in 2004 by the Venezuelan State, which means legalizing all those citizens who appeared within a preset period of time to “regularize” their situation. However, they have had the same status since then. “They continue as such for lack of a government policy,” Tanus regretted. In addition, there are 450,000 Colombian applicants for the refugee status.

To sum up, the number of Colombians presently in Venezuela is near 4,500,000.

Tanus explained that these people usually move in a bloc, that is, they come with their whole family, with the respective consequences in terms of provision of public services.

The representative of the Colombian-Venezuelan association added that 176,000 Colombians will vote in the election for parliament next September.


Published: Saturday, July 31, 2010
Bylined to: El Universal

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