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R4V Response for Venezuelans – Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela: Central America and Mexico Situation Report – September 2019

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Situation Report
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OPERATIONAL CONTEXT

  • From January to 30 September 2019, 54,377 applications for asylum were filed in Mexico (an increase of approx. 216% when compared to the same period of 2018). Of these, 25,265 are from Honduras, 7,371 from El Salvador, 6,100 from Cuba, 5,467 from Venezuela, 3,777 from Haiti, 2,733 from Guatemala, 1,899 from Nicaragua. 582 Venezuelans applied in September. Until the end of September, Venezuelan asylum-seekers represent 10% of the overall claimants in Mexico in 2019. The increase of Venezuelan claimants over the same period of 2018 is approximately 29%.

  • The overall situation for people from Venezuela in Costa Rica has not changed in the month of September. Partners report that the vulnerability of people arriving from Venezuela is increasing primarily in the areas of integration, protection, and access to health services. For many Venezuelans in the country with a regularized status, expired passports prevent them from leaving the country. To address this, R4V partners in Costa Rica, together with the Migration Authority (DGME) agreed to cooperate in the issuance of a travel document that will be granted to Venezuelan citizens residing in Costa Rica who need to travel to another country and do not possess a valid travel document to do so.

  • Migrant children entering Panama from Colombia through the Darién jungle decreased to 220 in September (-28% compared to August). While many of them are Haitians, according to UNICEF's local monitor, several were born in Venezuela, or Chile, or Brazil, or Peru, and possess the nationality of those countries. The exact numbers are unknown.

  • There is a constant concern about possible changes to the national migration legislation in Panama; the proposed migratory reform includes a harsher environment and measures to foreigners, including the proposed suspension of the extraordinary regularization programme “Crisol de Razas”). Furthermore, the Executive Decree (No. 123 of March 26, 2019) that allowed the use of expire Venezuelan passports in different processes ended on September 26, 2019, without been extended by the government nor has made no pronunciation whatsoever about that matter.

  • Until September 30, 2019, over 3000 asylum claims from Venezuelans were still pending decision, constituting the second nationality waiting for a response from the government (first are Nicaraguans asylum seekers). Since asylum seekers are not allowed to work, the Venezuelans are dependent of the humanitarian assistance, especially large families, persons with chronic diseases and elders.