May 31, 2023

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Chile: The migration wave continues despite militarization on the border

A week after the trucks that brought the North to strike Chile Hundreds of people continue to cross the border through unauthorized crossings despite a state of emergency being declared in the area in protest of illegal immigration and insecurity. Colsen Condemns that there is “progress” in the measures announced by the government.

“We have not noticed a big change. Colsen has been militarized for eight months, and since the declaration of the state of emergency – last weekend – everything has remained the same. We see hundreds of people continuing to enter, families walking the streets. You see, it’s just that, “he said. EFE Colsen’s mayor, Javier Garcia.

Located at an altitude of 3,700 meters above sea level on the high plateau, Colsen has become an unprecedented sight for immigrants. Chile The first city to be reached after crossing the border BoliviaIn the extreme north of the country.

In the last 12 months, more than twenty people have died trying to get inside Chile Through those secret steps, subject to extreme weather, it reaches high temperatures throughout the day and drops below zero degrees at night.

“Too many employees”

According to the last census, there are only 1,300 people living in Colsen, so its infrastructure and essential services are of limited capacity.

In pictures released by municipal officials this morning, dozens of people can be seen wandering the streets of the city, occupying public spaces outside or in tents, and in most cases Santiago on their way to their destination. , Capital. Chile It is located approximately 2,000 km to the south.

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“This situation is beyond our ability to respond and the staff is overwhelmed. Under normal circumstances, we treated 10 people a day in our health service and today we treat at least 100 people. Officers have resigned and are less interested in working. In the commune due to lack of security,” the mayor said.

The high altitude, low temperature and steady rainfall in the Altiplano highlight the health problems of the settlers, who are more accustomed to the lowlands and with moderate heat waves. In case of respiratory problems, there are no hospitals in Tamarind province, Tarabakka region, so relocation of patients involves a journey of 250 km, which makes timely care difficult.

“Additional actions required”

To date, government actions Chile Sebastian Pinera aimed to strengthen security: last weekend he announced the Border Constitution exception, which marked an increase in the number of military personnel in support of police work at the national border, a milestone that occurred in parallel with the implementation. The new immigration law allows “hot income”, which has been strongly criticized by national and international organizations.

“This is a worrying move because the diversion takes place in a regional area of ​​the broader will of the border official. Of course it is very difficult, and mechanisms need to be developed, which is why we know these people. Will they be respected for their rights to establish the law,” said a panel of the Jesuit Migrant Service (SJM). McCarren Rodriguez, president and academic of the University of Alberto Hertado, told Efe.

In addition, two NGOs, SJM and Amnesty International, stressed the need for regional integration in Latin America to deal with the displacement phenomenon south of Venezuela, which has created a crisis situation in all countries. Pacific coast ..

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Colsen’s mayor follows the same path, saying “complementary measures such as diplomatic dialogue with Bolivia are needed, which should get Venezuela as well. Today there are serious doubts about that.”

Despite the epidemic and social crisis of 2019, Chile It continues to be one of the most attractive countries to immigrate to Latin America due to its political and economic stability.

In total, Latin America has 1.4 million immigrants, which is more than 7% of the population, and Venezuela has the largest population, followed by Peruvians, Haitians and Colombians.

(With information from EFE)

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