AMERICA/PERU - To welcome, protect, promote and integrate: the Church for the reception of Venezuelan refugees

Monday, 26 August 2019 migrants   refugees   human rights   humanitarian assistance  


Lima (Agenzia Fides) - "The Information and Orientation Center for Venezuelan migrants seeks to protect the life and dignity of Venezuelan citizens who have emigrated to Peru, especially those who are in a situation of greater vulnerability. In the same way, it tries to combine efforts with the initiatives of the Church and civil society organizations, which have the same purpose". This is what Mgr. Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, president of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference said during a celebration held at the headquarters of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference (CEP), on the first anniversary of the "Information and orientation center for Venezuelan migrants", launched by the Peruvian episcopate to "respond to the needs of our Venezuelan brothers and sisters who arrived in Peru because of the serious political, social and economic crisis in their country" (See Fides, 25/8/2018).
According to the note sent to Fides by CEP, currently, the number of Venezuelans who arrived in Peru exceeds 850,000. For this reason, Mgr. Cabrejos said that "with the creation of the Center we wanted to respond to the call of the Holy Father to welcome, protect, promote and integrate the migrant brothers in our country, seeking better living conditions as people and for their families". "We wish to express a very special thanks to the Congregation of the Scalabrinian Fathers - the Bishop continues - for their responsible commitment to the pastoral care of human mobility of CEP, and also to the "Encuentros" institution of Jesuit fathers, as well as to all the consecrated members of the Conference of religious of Peru (CONFER)", who offered a valuable contribution.
Venezuelan immigration to Peru (more than 2 million people with unofficial data) has been reduced by about 90% since last June 15, when Peruvian authorities began to ask Venezuelan citizens trying to enter the country for a visa. According to data gathered by Fides, the phenomenon of Venezuelan migration in Peru is now taking on a different perspective: not only has the entry into the country been stopped, but the number of Venezuelan leaving, directed especially on the border with Bolivia, to other countries has begun to increase. Since the beginning of 2019, almost 6,000 Venezuelans have left the country, a figure that is much higher than the total of 2018.
The main destinations of these migrants are Bolivia, Argentina and Uruguay. Meanwhile, the number of Venezuelan citizens who left Peru at the border point mentioned in the first quarter was 1,566. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/08/2019)