The UNHCR said, in 2020, the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis should be considered the second largest on the planet, just behind that in Syria. In Venezuela, the political, human rights and socioeconomic crisis is getting worse. There are already 1,809,872 people from this nation officially registered as migrants, refugees or displaced persons.
José Fernando Molina and his family are typical examples of the crisis. Living conditions in Venezuela were getting more and more complicated, but they still managed to make a living. After months of planning, hesitation, worrying, and planning some more, the family began a journey to Uruguay in March 2019.
Latin America’s Greatest Exodus
Venezuelans have become one of the largest groups of displaced populations in the world, following the acceleration of mass exodus from 2016. According to UNHCR, there are currently 4.5 million Venezuelans in transit from their homes to other places.
For reasons chiefly related to economics, most choose to go to other countries in the region. Colombia and Peru were the final destinations for many, however, currently more than 37,000 are in Brazil, now the territory with the largest number of Venezuelan refugees recognized in Latin America.
What are the factors in choosing a nation as a refugee’s destination? Initially, the laws of each country and the benefits offered were factors. The language also plays a leading role in the final choice. Until last year, for example, Brazil was not a destination considered by Venezuelans since language was a difficult barrier. Due to changes in the laws of the Hispanic countries, which withdrew benefits previously granted, many Venezuelans began to migrate to Brazil.