Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

Migration in South America


Wednesday Oct 30, 2019

Latin American Responses to the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan Migration Crises
Welcome Remarks and Overview: Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
Regional Responses to Venezuelan Migration (Panel 1)
Frieda Roxana Del Águila Tuesta, Superintendent of Migration, Peru
Christian Krüger Sarmiento, Director, Migration Colombia
Andrés Alfonso Ramírez Silva, Director, Mexican Refugee Commission (COMAR)
Hernán Yánez González, Under Secretary of International Protection and Assistance for Immigrants, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador
Jose Tomás Vicuña, National Director, Servicio Jesuita de Migrantes, Chile
Raísa Ortiz Cetra, Member, International Team, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, Argentina
Moderator: Andrew Selee, President, MPI
As crises continue to unfold in Venezuela and Nicaragua, more than 4.5 million people have left both of those countries, with most settling in neighboring countries in the region. To date, Latin American countries have generally responded by finding pragmatic ways to receive and integrate migrants and refugees from Venezuela and Nicaragua.
This series of panel discussions examines the challenges ahead as countries in the region seek to chart future strategies for responding to large-scale forced migration flows. Leading policymakers and key stakeholders from the region, as well as representatives of major international institutions involved with the regional response, offer their views on changing entry requirements; legal pathways and asylum processes; access to education, health care, and public services; and the opportunities and challenges that these migration flows present for the future of the region.
Remarks given in Spanish have been translated in this recording.

Monday Sep 30, 2019

The political and economic unraveling of Venezuela has sparked the flight of more than 4 million people in what now stands as the largest exodus of migrants in the western hemisphere—a number that could exceed 5 million by year’s end. More than 1.4 million Venezuelans have settled in Colombia, which has generously opened its doors.
As the primary destination for Venezuelans, Colombia is providing a variety of legal pathways through temporary programs that allow the new arrivals access to work permits, public services, and protection from possible exploitation. And in September 2018, Colombia joined other countries in adopting the Declaration of Quito on Human Mobility of Venezuelan Citizens in the Region and launched an action plan emphasizing regularization and integration for migrants.
However, Colombia’s capacity to continue to host further arrivals is being stretched amid increasing pressure on public services and local economies, the growing recognition these arrivals will be more than short-term guests, and the strong possibility of additional inflows. Also at play is the slow arrival of international assistance. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has deemed the Venezuelan crisis one of the most underfunded humanitarian appeals in the world.
As the crisis continues to unfold, the Migration Policy Institute and Inter-American Dialogue hosted a conversation--with Felipe Muñoz, Advisor to the President of Colombia for the Colombian-Venezuelan Border; Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, MPI's International Program Associate Director;Michael Camilleri, Director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program at the Inter-American Dialogue; and MPI's President Andrew Selee--on how Colombia is coping with this influx, plans for future policy decisions, and developments in regional and international cooperation, including with the United States.

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