Venezuelan migrants see rising hostility from neighbors like Peru on receiving end

By May 4, 2018


Venezuela’s economic crisis has led to some 5,000 residents fleeing every day, according to some estimates. Inherently, that staggering wave of migration has added social and political stresses to neighbors like Colombia, Brazil, and Peru.

Per a new report set to be presented at this week’s Horasis Global Meeting in Cascais, Portugal where world leaders and influential business minds are gathering, the number of Venezuelan migrants in Peru was up more than 1,000 percent from 2015 to 2017. Alongside Colombia and Chile, that is the highest accelerated rate among countries receiving Venezuelan exiles. This ten-fold increase in just a few years sees no end in sight, according to the data brief compiled by Oxford Analytica on Horasis’ behalf.

“Severe doubts over the forthcoming presidential elections in Venezuela point to a deteriorating situation with no short-term solution,” the report reads.

As Peru Reports detailed in March, migrants from Venezuela who come to Peru have been met confronting nasty stereotypes from locals and limited opportunities in the marketplace. Since Venezuelans are often willing to accept low-paying jobs, this competition over work may only increase as well.

“Modest growth prospects in most host countries will increase hostility toward incomers competing for jobs,” the Horasis report adds.

There are expected to be some 800,000 Venezuelans living in Latin American countries not their own, per the brief. That number should only rise as more than half of the young people polled who are still living in the country said they want to flee.

Though the exact numbers of the inflation aren’t known because Venezuela’s government won’t report them, some organizations estimate that the figure could reach an astonishing 13,000 percent inflation by this year.

Despite the bleakness of the situation, donations from places like USAID, which gave $2.5 million to support Venezuelan exiles, are helping in small ways. Governments like Peru and Colombia have also been hospitable with the foreigners in providing some social safety nets. Peru, for example, has set up the Temporary Permit of Residence (PTP) that gives Venezuelan migrants the ability to work and access to temporary health care.