The government of Colombia revealed today that the number of Venezuelans fleeing into the country continued to increase during the last few months, and that the number of Venezuelans now living in Colombia is now 935,000.
The updated figure came from Christian Kruger Sarmiento, the head of Colombia’s migration authority, who said that the number includes only Venezuelans who have expressed a desire to settle in Colombia.
According to Kruger, almost 100,000 Venezuelans have entered Colombia since September 20 as the situation under the Maduro regime shows no signs of improvement. Kruger said that September saw the largest single influx of Venezuelan migrants since the start of the latest migrant wave.
Kruger explained that beyond providing humanitarian aid to the migrants, Bogota also wants to work to ensure that those who want to settle in Colombia can do so successfully. He said:
We want to move into the second stage: from the humanitarian [phase] to generating projects to work towards incorporating this population into productive life. We cannot stay stuck in the humanitarian issue. It’s important, but we have to look at the long term.
Back in August, the United Nations announced that at least 2.3 million Venezuelans had left the country since 2013, fleeing the socio-economic collapse precipitated by the Maduro regime.
UN Wants to Visit Venezuela Over Torture Allegations
The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, said in an interview today that his office had formally requested that the Maduro regime allow its investigators access to Venezuela, but that Caracas has yet to reply.
During a press conference, Nils Melzer said that a similar request had been made of Nicaragua, and that the purpose of the visits to both countries would be to investigate allegations that government officials have engaged in the torture of political opponents.
Melzer also condemned the use of torture to obtain confessions from prisoners, a tactic he said is indicative of “criminal systems” that do not take into account the safety of individuals.
Melzer also said that his office does not expect a response from either country.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently undertaking two preliminary examinations into allegations that the Maduro regime committed crimes against humanity in its brutal repression of the 2014 and 2017 anti-government protests.
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