A South American Migration Crisis: Venezuelan Outflows Test Neighbors’ Hospitality [article]


It is increasingly evident that the Venezuelan exodus that began in 2014 is now the fastest-escalating displacement of people across borders in Latin American history. The deepening political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has led to the mass movement of people across the region—mostly to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru—and beyond. Estimates of Venezuelans on the move are imprecise, but range from 1.6 million to 4 million people abroad as of early 2018. Hundreds of thousands more have left in the first half of the year, and the numbers keep climbing—outpacing earlier humanitarian flows from Central America, Colombia, and Cuba. Some experts predict the displacement could surpass the 5.6 million Syrians who have fled that country’s civil war.

This article examines the characteristics of Venezuelan migrants based on the latest data available, before discussing how governments in the region have responded to the inflow and what the crisis means in the context of shifting Latin American immigration laws.

The article is co-written with Dr. Luisa Feline Freier at the Universidad del Pacifico (Political and Social Sciences) in Lima, Peru.


The article is published (18.07.2018) through the online journal of the Migration Policy Institute: Migration Information Source. It can be read here.MPI logo