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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Bolivia and Venezuela argue with Chile over illegal migrants

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Bolivia and Venezuela criticized the president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, for his statements in which he demanded more commitment from the two countries in the smuggling of irregular migrants, a situation that worries La Moneda and prompted the president himself to suggest an upcoming meeting friendly governments to find a regional solution.

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The Chilean president announced yesterday that he will strengthen the agreements with Venezuela and Bolivia on migration to accelerate the processes of “redirection” of irregular migrants who arrive in their territory, but both countries criticized the criticisms he made about the management of their borders.

During a visit to the town of Colchane, on the border with Bolivia, Boric affirmed that the neighboring country “is not carrying out the redirection of Venezuelan and Colombian citizens who enter through the border,” reported the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

Boric, who last night was in the northern region of Tarapacá, where an important part of irregular migrants enter Chile, especially Venezuelans and Colombians, explained in an interview with a local radio station that many of them arrive from Bolivia and cannot be returned. because that country does not receive them.

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Three weeks ago, the Chilean government deployed members of the Armed Forces in the regions of Arica, Tarapacá and Antofagasta, in northern Chile, to strengthen border control.

Colchane, two kilometers from the border with Bolivia, has 1,680 inhabitants. According to official data, 21,553 people in an irregular situation entered Chile through this step in 2022.

From Bolivia, however, they reproached the Chilean president for his words, and reminded him that Chile and Bolivia currently have no agreement in force for the repatriation of migrants from third countries who are detained crossing the common border.

The Bolivian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Freddy Mamani, stressed in statements collected by the ABI news agency that “the renewal procedure, to which President Boric refers, is Chilean legislation that does not generate any type of international obligation.”

“Regarding the fact that Bolivia would not be carrying out the redirection of citizens from other countries, understanding this as an expulsion from Chilean territory, there is no agreement, agreement or bilateral instrument that generates said obligation,” he said.

In addition, the Bolivian foreign minister assured that his government “is always ready for bilateral dialogue to address issues of common interest, even more so with neighboring countries.”

Venezuela also responded to comments from the Chilean government about the management of their shared borders.

“We have expulsions that have been trying to be carried out for months and we have not been able to coordinate the flight plans to make them effective,” Chilean Interior Minister Carolina Tohá said yesterday, the Europa Press news agency reported.

For his part, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Yvan Gil, responded to Boric through his Twitter account: “The Government of Venezuela has not yet received a request for coordinated work with the Government of Chile regarding alleged deportations of Venezuelans.”

“Coordination in this matter has been a cry of ours, as well as the demand for respect for the human rights of our compatriots,” added Gil.

Boric announced last night that he will meet with presidents “friends of Latin America, with Andrés López Obrador (from Mexico), Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Xiomara Castro (Honduras), Gustavo Petro (Colombia) and Luis Arce (Bolivia)”, and that one of the issues to be discussed will be irregular immigration.

The meeting will take place within the framework of the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit that will take place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on the 24th and 25th of this month, according to the Chilean Press Office.

Source: Ambito

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