Peru grants asylum to Venezuelans

Peru's Foreign Minister, Nestor Popolizio told a local newspaper that migrants may also be issued a "humanitarian visa" to help them enter the country if they don't have a passport.

Peru grants asylum to Venezuelans

World Bulletin / News Desk

Peru granted asylum to hundreds of Venezuelans who missed a deadline to enter the country before new passport regulations came into effect on Saturday, as they flee poverty and shortages of basic necessities in their crisis-ridden homeland.

Venezuelans are rushing out of their homeland, which is gripped by a deepening economic crisis, as regional governments struggle to cope with one of the biggest exoduses in Latin American history.

A rising backlash to waves of migrants prompted tougher border controls in both Ecuador and Peru -- though Ecuador later reversed course.

"Luckily, everything went well and I could get in asking for asylum," 19-year-old Alejandra Osta told AFP as she filled out an official form at a border post in Tumbes, Peru.

By late morning, around a hundred Venezuelans were queueing to enter an office to seek refugee status, while the wait for those crossing the border with passports was short.

"Here, we've been received really well," said 33-year-old Jose Luis Araujo, a teacher who traveled more than 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) to enter Peru with a passport.

Peru's move came into effect at midnight (0500 GMT Saturday).

Before then, thousands of Venezuelans, some carrying small children and many having traveled mostly on foot, rushed toward the Peruvian border to try to beat the deadline.

Poplizio told El Comercio newspaper that the measure was not designed to "prevent Venezuelans from entering" but rather to ensure their migration was "better organized and safer."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2018, 11:18