AMERICA/COLOMBIA - Venezuelans arriving at the border are hungry, border Bishops call for the support from authorities

Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Arauca (Agenzia Fides) - Venezuelan emigrants crossing the border with Colombia are more and more numerous: there are those looking for work, others want to reach distant relatives and all in search of a better situation than the one they live in Venezuela. This has led Colombian border authorities to raise their guard and controls, especially in Arauca, where so many try to escape controls in order to reach Colombia.
The Catholic Church is constantly following this situation of crisis and a few days ago, the Bishop of the Diocese of Guasdualito (Apure, Venezuela), Mgr. Pablo Modesto González Pérez, SDB, and the Bishop of the diocese of Arauca Colombia), Mgr. Jaime Muñoz Pedroza met. "It was a meeting to look at the situation and anticipate what could happen", said Mgr. Muñoz, who also informed of the presence of UNHCR representatives, the United Nations Refugee Agency.
According to the note sent to Fides from a local source, for four hours at the headquarters of the Diocese of Arauca, the group analyzed the situation, pointing out the economic problems and shortcomings of the Venezuelans. Mgr. Gonzalez admitted that the situation in his country "has become a challenge", aggravated by protests that have not stopped for several months.
"We have to do something, we have to foresee. The population that arrives is hungry, there is a need of food", said Mgr. Muñoz. Then he explained that Arauca does not know how to deal with such a large group. At the moment, through Social Pastoral Care, one can offer some help, but "this is a drop of water in the desert". For the Bishop of Arauca, "the national government must be more aware of what is happening on this border". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 27/06/2017)