BRASILIA – Brazil and Colombia will reinforce their already close cross-border cooperation and information exchange to better help Venezuelans fleeing their country’s crisis, officials said on Wednesday.
The announcement emerged from a high-level bilateral meeting in Brasilia.
“We have an excellent cross-border cooperation with Colombia, which must now be enhanced to contend with the mass migration from Venezuela,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes said.
The influx of Venezuelans has generated a “social emergency” situation in both Brazil and Colombia, he said.
His Colombian counterpart, Maria Angela Holguin, said that the aim of increased cooperation with Brazil is to improve attention to Venezuelans “fleeing from a difficult situation of hunger and shortages.”
According to the latest official data, 550,000 Venezuelans have settled in Colombia and some 37,000 citizens cross the border every day looking for a better future or in search of food and medicines unavailable in Venezuela.
In Brazil, the inflow has been primarily into the impoverished border state of Roraima, which has received close to 40,000 Venezuelans over the past year, although the number may be larger, as it is believed that many immigrants do not register with authorities.