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Media 052118 Lima Group

Monday, May 21, 2018

Latin American Distress regarding Critical Venezuelan Related Crises

Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The deterioration of the economic, social and humanitarian situation in Venezuela has led to a massive increase in Venezuelan emigration over the last two years, which has especially impacted the countries of the region

After the Venezuelan president's recent statements in which he says that his country doesn't have a migration crisis, the ["Lima Group"] governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia state that:

The deterioration of the economic, social and humanitarian situation in Venezuela has led to a massive increase in Venezuelan emigration over the last two years, which has especially impacted the countries of the region.

Although the majority of Venezuelan emigrants first go to neighboring countries, there has also been a significant increase in transit migration in these countries en route to other destinations.

Official figures show that between 2017 and 2018 approximately 82,000 Venezuelans emigrated to Argentina; about 50,000 went to Brazil; 800,000 Venezuelans went to Colombia; approximately 4,000 went to Costa Rica; more than 160,000 went to Chile; 15,650 to Guatemala; 65,784 to Mexico; 65,415 to Panama; 2,893 to Paraguay; and 298,559 to Peru.

These figures are consistent with estimates made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which indicate that between 1,500,000 and 1,600,000 Venezuelans had left their country by the end of 2017.

This has created a series of humanitarian and health-related challenges for the receiving countries, including malnutrition and the reappearance of diseases that had already been eradicated or were under control. In addition, the ability to provide basic services such as education and child protection, among others, is seriously challenged.

For all the above reasons, the Lima Group countries reiterate our willingness and commitment to providing assistance and protection for Venezuelans, as well as support for those who remain in their country, and we strongly reiterate the request to create mechanisms that permit access to humanitarian aid in order to address this critical situation.

We also call on Venezuela to urgently establish a system to exchange epidemiological information with its neighboring countries, in order to coordinate efforts to contain diseases especially in the border regions.

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Press release, "Lima Group Statement," May 18, 2018, Mexican Ministries of Foreign Affairs (SRE); translation SRE

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