Ecuador: State of Emergency Declared Over Venezuelan Migrants Crossing Border

Ecuador declared a state of emergency on Wednesday over the large groups of people crossing over its northern border with Colombia. The Venezuelan migrants are fleeing the situation in their country. The IMF estimates that Venezuela will reach one million percent inflation by the end of the year.

Venezuela’s economic and political crisis has forced many to flee in recent months. Estimates say that millions have left the country since Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1999.

The foreign ministry of Ecuador released a statement saying that the government has declared a state of emergency. The announcement was done over human migration in three provinces, El Oro, Pichincha and Carchi. The statement explains that the state of emergency was declared to provide attention to Venezuelan migrants on the northern border.

The government of Ecuador says the country has received over 4,000 Venezuelan migrants each day this week. The government did not reveal the numbers that were recorded in previous weeks.

The situation in Venezuela has forced many to flee to South American countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Neighboring country Colombia has seen many Venezuelans cross the border in recent years. US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, visited the bridge along the Colombia – Venezuela border yesterday. The US also announced nearly $9 million in aid to help Venezuelans who have left the country.

Colombia said last month that more than 870,000 Venezuelans were living in the country. Haley visited the town of Cucuta, a crossing point for Venezuelans who are looking to flee the country or find medicines and food that cannot be found in their country.

The visit comes just days after the incident at the military parade involving Maduro and other officials. Maduro has accused the US of being the home to those who financed the assassination attempt on Saturday. The president has also accused Colombia’s former president and the opposition.

On Tuesday, Brazil closed its border with Venezuela for a few hours. The decision was made over the amount of people crossing into the state of Roraima. The Supreme Court later overturned the decision. Authorities in the state have recently asked for the border to be closed. They say crime has gone up in the area and that public services have collapsed. The decision to re-open the border also allowed Venezuelans visiting Brazil to return to their country.