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Venezuela migrant crisis: Peru tightens border controls

August 25, 2018 3:08 pm

Peru has brought into force new entry requirements to control the numbers of Venezuelan migrants.

Venezuelans will no longer be admitted with just an identity card, although children, pregnant women and the elderly are exempted.

Similar rules were introduced in Ecuador last week, only to be overturned by a court.

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their country amid chronic shortages of food and medicines.

The country’s longstanding economic crisis has seen more than two million citizens leave since 2014, causing regional tensions as neighbouring countries struggle to accommodate them.

The UN is setting up a special team to co-ordinate the regional response.

However, the UN’s migration agency has warned that the continent faces a refugee “crisis moment” similar to that seen in the Mediterranean in 2015.

The authorities in Lima set a deadline of midnight on Friday for the new passport rules to come into force.

Many Venezuelans have been looking to start a new life in Peru – which has one of the region’s fastest growing economies – travelling there via Colombia and Ecuador.

On Friday there was a rush of people heading to the Peruvian border and Ecuador created what it called a “humanitarian corridor” by laying on buses to take migrants through the country.