Migration and Xenophobia in South America. Why the Venezuelan Crisis Matters?

Last week, increasing events have again put Venezuela in the international spotlight. A crosscutting thematic on democracy, human rights, and sovereignty are part of this complex scenario. A challenging puzzle that includes diverse key actors in the region, economic sanctions, and a growing social stigma towards the Venezuelan migrants. 

The turbulence and uncertainty in Venezuelan politics and, an historical economic crisis represented by an unprecedented hyperinflation in 2018, have incited a massive migration of Venezuelans to boarder countries. This has created a sensitive situation between Venezuelan migrants (most of them with low or no resources) and the communities’ residents where they are arriving. There is arising a xenophobic feeling that is being used by some politicians as a perfect tool to raise their own popularity. 

Regrettable events in Ibarra (Ecuador) in January 2019, and Pacaraima (Brazil) in August 2018, where Venezuelan migrants were attacked by locals after being accused of increased the crime rate -being their belongings burnt- and the public response to those actions show us how difficult is to deal with this challenge. 

In vulnerable contexts, the migrants massive arriving could create a temporal saturation of public services. Countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, are not historically prepared to receive migrants, because of their infrastructure and their own sociological culture. Taking into account that even, traditionally, those nations have had the highest rate of citizens who are immigrants within the South American region. 

Before the crisis, Venezuela received many migrants because of years of economic bonanza. Even, during many decades, Venezuela offered support for many of them. A help represented by social welfare and free access to the same benefits that the local population had and facilities to the obtain the Venezuelan citizenship. 

Democracy´s resilience, human rights defense and regional integration in the region are under test due to the challenge represented by the Venezuelan crisis. Exemplified by an exodus that in the last year, has helped to create a diaspora marked by the uncertainty about the legal status in the countries where they have arrived.  People fleeing economic meltdown and political turmoil. An ongoing crisis that has influenced to breakdown some South American regional institutions such as Unasur, and is threatening to overwhelm neighbor countries. 

The role of the Venezuelan diaspora is crucial in order to incorporate the migrants demands in diverse international forums, at promoting and defending human rights in the region, combating the xenophobia and the denigrating dealings toward the most vulnerable groups.

Views: 138

Tags: Venezuela, human, migrants, rights, xenophobia.


You need to be a member of Global Ethics Network to add comments!

Join Global Ethics Network

Carnegie Council

How Change Happens, with Cass Sunstein

How does change happen? How and why do some social movements take off, from the French Revolution to #MeToo? In a book that was 25 years in the making, Cass Sunstein unpacks this puzzle by exploring the interplay of three decisive factors. Don't miss this insightful talk. It may change how you view the world.

Human Rights, Liberalism, & Ordinary Virtues, with Michael Ignatieff

Central European University's President Michael Ignatieff is a human rights scholar, an educator, a former politician, and, as he tells us, the son of a refugee. He discusses what he calls "the ordinary virtues," such as patience and tolerance; the status of human rights today and the dilemmas of migration; the essential critera for true democracy; and the ideal curriculum. His advice to students: Learn to think for yourself.

Ethics and Climate Change: Earth Day 2019

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2019, Carnegie Council presents a selection of materials from the past year on the ethical responsibilities and challenges of coping with climate change.





© 2019   Created by Carnegie Council.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

The views and opinions expressed in the media, comments, or publications on this website are those of the speakers or authors and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Carnegie Council.