What the UN High Commissioner for Refugees saw coming: The Venezuelan crisis is arriving to Mexico

The number of refugee applications in the Aztec country has increased and Venezuela ranks second in asylum claims

What the UN High Commissioner for Refugees saw coming: The Venezuelan crisis is arriving to Mexico

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mexico has ceased to be a transit country to gradually become the final destination for people fleeing their countries and seeking a new home because of humanitarian reasons. Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua were in the first places of asylum applications. However, although these countries have reduced the number of applications, the requests of Venezuelan citizens represent a high number. Although there has been a reduction in the percentage of applications from citizens of Central American countries, the number has increased drastically.

Leer en español: ¿Se veía venir? La crisis venezolana llega a México

According to information from COMAR, Honduras continues to lead the list of countries and asylum applications in Mexico, followed by Venezuela and El Salvador in the third position (29.2%, 27.7% and 25.4%, respectively). For the year 2015, Honduras represented 45.5% of applications and El Salvador 43.1%. Since the arrival of Venezuelans, the percentage number has been reduced, but not the total number.

This situation was predicted

Since August 2017, Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warned, in an interview with the newspaper El País, that Mexico should prepare for the arrival of refugees in excess. For Grandi, it is important to take into account the exodus of Venezuelans in Latin America, and added to the immigration policies of the United States, Mexico was seen as a possible recipient country of many of these refugees.

Grandi says that thinking about a policy like the European quotas for Latin American countries is not possible due to the change of conjunctures that exist. "Precisely the European model has not been very successful, but that's another story. What we are trying to do is a little different. We want more cooperation between the states because otherwise, in 10 years, the same problem will follow, only much bigger. The solutions require cooperation between countries and the participation of larger players such as the United States. "

Also read: This is the Latin American country that receives the most refugees

For Grandi the problem must now be solved or in the future the situation will be worse. Venezuela in just one year has multiplied its number of asylum seekers, not only in Mexico, but also in Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Brazil. If something is not done about it, the situation will not be easy to reverse.

Mexico is now the final destination

According to the Global Trends report of the United Nations Refugee Agency, Mexico received a total of 9,017 refugees, with 14,596 requests that had to be processed. In spite of everything, comparing the number of asylum applications, this number dropped drastically in the last quarter of the year, due to the fact that the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid (COMAR) reduced the number of applications approved due to the earthquake of 19 September, according to UNHCR data.

Mark Manly, representative of UNHCR in Mexico, also assures that although the number of refugees and applications is growing, the number is reduced compared to the number of people who are detained and deported by immigration authorities. According to data from COMAR, Mexico has 7 refugees per 100,000 inhabitants.

LatinAmerican Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “¿Se veía venir? La crisis venezolana llega a México”

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