A Humanitarian Crisis Overwhelms Small Towns In Northern Chile

Authorities of small border towns located in northern Chile have asked the Chilean government to intervene and solve the crisis they face due to the huge number of Venezuelans who have arrived in recent days.

Complaints include food shortages and lack of control by the police, who have been unable to prevent some undocumented immigrants from occupying homes.

According to CNN, after the Peruvian government imposed stricter control on its border with the Chilean city of Arica, migrants have attempted to cross through less guarded areas. Thus, they transferred the tension to very small towns that have no capacity to contain them.

The migration scenario is worrying and disheartening, with children crossing the border into Chile with their families in the desert and entire streets crowded with tents set up by Venezuelans to protect themselves from the cold of the night.

“It took us about seven hours to get through. My feet can’t take it anymore, brother. We have old people, women, entire families with children, brother.

This is a very unfortunate adventure. There are many who have to turn back because they can’t continue. Others stay on the road,” says Jahir, a Venezuelan who remains in the central square of the commune of Pozo Almonte, a town located in the interior of Iquique in the Tarapacá region, in statements published by Infobae. 

“It is no coincidence that there are so many of us who need to leave our nation. We cannot go on like this. Those of us who are now crossing the borders, from Peru, from Bolivia to get to Chile are the ones who are holding out until the end. Imagining a change, but no. It is worse there than here,” he adds.

Those who have dared to make this journey warn that the use of cell phones is not advisable, at all times should remain silent, and children should always stay very close to their parents. A false step could draw the attention of police or military personnel. 

The mayor of Colchane, Javier García, one of the towns most affected by the situation, said that “immigrants enter the country without any control. The inclusion of military personnel on the border has only harmed the normal life of the native inhabitants”.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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