More and more Venezuelans are returning to their country everyday from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Spain, the United States and other countries.
Hundreds of Venezuelans are turning up everyday at the land terminal of Tulcán, the capital of Carchi, on the northern border of Ecuador, reported Ecuadorian media Ecuavisa.
Buses full of Venezuelans are arriving every minute from Huaquillas, on Ecuador’s southern border with Peru.
Those who work and live near the Ecuadorian transport station say that between 500 and 600 foreigners are leaving Ecuadorian territory every day.
From other countries in the region
The Ecuavisa report shows how Venezuelans arrive at the Tulcán terminal from Chile, Peru and other provinces of Ecuador.
“Things are not good here. I come from Guayaquil and crime rate there is very high,” Reynaldo Mendoza told the Ecuadorian news outlet.
It is estimated that in the coming months the return of Venezuelans to the country will increase significantly due to the Christmas holidays.
Low enrollment of Venezuelan students in Ecuador
The nearly 50% drop in the enrollment of Venezuelan students in the Ecuadorian educational system is a reflection of this reality.
According to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education, 29,092 Venezuelan students left the schools and colleges of that country during the school year 2022-2023, reported Ecuadorian news website Primicias.
In this school year, 31,054 Venezuelan children and adolescents enrolled in Ecuadorian schools, which is 48% less than the 2021-2022 school year when the enrollment of Venezuelan students was 60,146.
However, the decrease of Venezuelan school children in Ecuador has been evident since last year, as reported by El Comercio.
For example, Reymar Cáceres returned to Venezuela in August 2021 because his income was not enough to support his family in Ecuador, and as soon as his three daughters aged 13, 10 and 5 finished their school year in Ecuador, they bought tickets and returned to Caracas.
Ecuadorian Undersecretary for Educational Innovation Diana Castellanos said that the main reason for this decrease in student enrollment is because “there is a process of return of the Venezuelan community in all countries of the region.”
Daniel Regalado, president of the Venezuelan Civil Association in Ecuador, agrees that the return of Venezuelans to their home country is the main reason for the lower number of student enrollment.
From Peru to Guárico
María, a young Venezuelan mother of 30 emigrated in 2017 with her husband and their two daughters, aged two years and two months, with the intention of settling in a province on the Peruvian coast.
For this couple, the experience in Peru did not turn out as expected. “I am not complaining about Peru, I left many friends there and I thank them for their help, but it was difficult for me to adapt to the culture, and I wanted my daughters to grow up in a better environment with my family. I felt very lonely and without support there”, María told Últimas Noticias.
María returned to Venezuela last September just for the beginning of the new school year.
Her daughters are already studying in a school in her native Calabozo, Guárico state. She stressed that they are delighted to live in the house of their grandparents, who during these five years missed the children a lot and communicated by video calls every day.
According to reports by the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office, during March – May 2020, 31,000 Venezuelan migrants in Peru returned to Venezuela, as the COVID-19 crisis caused 89% of Venezuelan workers to be fired from their jobs and 39% to run the risk of being evicted from the houses they rented in Peru.
On social media there are frequent comments from Venezuelans who have returned to their homeland and express their feelings: “Today is a week since I returned. The best experience without a doubt.” “I have been back to my homeland for a year and the truth is that I have lived the happiest year of my life.” “I never got used to it.” “I honestly never felt at home.” “I saw my family again and that is priceless.”
Venezuelans returning from Argentina
The return of Venezuelans from Argentina is not new. The pandemic in many cases accelerated the process, as sources of work were increasingly limited and income was not enough to cover expenses.
In February of this year, Argentinian media El Clarín reported that on an average 1,000 Venezuelans were leaving Argentina every month.
El Clarín spoke to more than 70 passengers who wanted to travel and arrive as soon as possible to Venezuela and at least 30 of them said that they did not intend to return to Argentina.
“We are grateful to Argentina, which opened its doors to us; it is a beautiful country, but the economic situation, inflation and the accelerated rise of the dollar made our reality unsustainable,” Antonio Vidal told El Clarín. “We had to stop paying DirecTV, we were left with only one telephone, we could not pay for services, and then it became clear to us that there was nothing more that we could do.”
Vuelta a la Patria Program
The Venezuelan government’s Vuelta a la Patria Program brought back 187 Venezuelans from the Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires last December, after they had faced racist discrimination or violation of their fundamental rights in Argentina.
In October 2021, 200 Venezuelans returned from Chile, who were repatriated through the Vuelta a la Patria Program days after they suffered acts of xenophobia in the city of Iquique located in the extreme north of Chile.
AHORA//Estamos desde Santiago de Chile, cumpliendo con el deseo de retorno de 200 Venezolanos(as) que vuelven a su país, gracias al Pdte. @NicolasMaduro a través del "Plan Vuelta a la Patria",quienes hoy retornan les decimos:han tomado la mejor decisión.¡Es hora del Reencuentro! pic.twitter.com/wPhScpjUOD
— Rander Peña Ramírez (@RanderPena) October 4, 2021
This year 97 Venezuelans returned from Ecuador in a flight of the Vuelta a la Patria Program operated by the Venezuelan state airline Conviasa.
“I am happy to return. My family is waiting for me there. Thanks to the Bolivarian government for allowing me to return,” said one of the Venezuelan passengers before boarding the plane in Ecuador.
In May, 264 Venezuelan nationals returned through the repatriation program, totaling 8,220 Venezuelans repatriated from Peru.
Since its inception on August 27, 2018, the Vuelta a la Patria Program has supported the return of 29,124 Venezuelans from 22 countries in 167 flights and one maritime transfer.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program safely returned 11,352 Venezuelans, reported Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faría, on the anniversary of the program this August.
On that occasion, Faría explained that the coercive, unilateral and illegal sanctions measures imposed by the US and its allies have a serious impact on the operability of Conviasa, since they prevent the Venezuelan state airline from having access to updating mechanisms, acquisition of spare parts, and pilot training, obstacles that make it difficult to maintain the program.
Human rights violations against Venezuelan migrants
The Special Commission of the National Assembly for Investigation of Crimes against Venezuelan Migrants has received 2,761 complaints of human rights violations against Venezuelan nationals residing in several countries of the region until April this year.
Deputy Julio Chávez, president of the commission, stated that the number of Venezuelan migrants in the countries of Latin America is not more than 3.7 million, and that these numbers are decreasing with the return of Venezuelans through the Vuelta a la Patria Program. He added that only in Peru 42,000 Venezuelans have registered their names to return to Venezuela.
(Últimas Noticias) by Erika Hernández
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/December 4, 2022
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