Chile announced that a plane transported 115 Venezuelan migrants who had been stranded for weeks at its border with Peru back to their country on Sunday.
The migrants departed on a humanitarian flight from the Chilean city of Arica and arrived in the capital Caracas.
The Chilean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the migrants “boarded the flight in complete normality, previously complying with the requirements established by the Venezuelan Consulate in Chile, in coordination with the relevant national authorities and in compliance with Chilean legislation and regulations, from a human rights approach.”
Hundreds of migrants, mostly from Venezuela and Haiti, have been stranded on the border trying to enter Peru, which has barred migrants from entering the country, citing a lack of documentation. President Dina Boluarte has militarized the borders for 60 days to reinforce surveillance and address insecurity, which she has blamed on foreigners.
Chile has also sent soldiers to its borders to help control the entry of undocumented migrants and Congress has passed a law ordering the detention of migrants without documentation.
Chile’s border with Peru has become the epicenter of the migration crisis affecting much of South America. According to the UN Refugee Agency, 150 to 200 migrants are stranded every day on the border between the two countries, living in precarious conditions.
The flight, which was entirely financed by the Venezuelan government, arrived in Chile from Venezuela last Friday, according to the Chilean Foreign Ministry, which has said there will be more flight departures in the coming days.
“Diplomatic efforts will continue with the goal of establishing future flights from different parts of Chile,” it said.
The flight is part of a repatriation program promoted by the Venezuelan government, which has sent 30,000 Venezuelans back to their country, according to official figures.
“This first flight of Venezuelans returning to their land of origin is a triumph of diplomacy and of those of us who seek solutions,” Chilean President Gabriel Boric said Sunday.
According to the UN, some 7.2 million Venezuelans have been forced to flee their country due to an economic and social crisis.
Source : aa