Guyanese media have observed an increase in the number of Venezuelan migrants flooding the border with neighboring Guyana in recent weeks, particular gold-rich regions the socialist regime
Guyana’s Kaieteur News reported on Friday that in the gold-rich regions of Cuyuni and Mazaruni, otherwise known as Region Seven, desperate Venezuelans are flooding the border, leading to an uptick in crimes such as human trafficking and prostitution.
“We have been seeing an increasing presence,” one local miner told the outlet. “Fresh faces. People who were not there before. We know they are crossing the borders.”
There are an estimated 2,000 Venezuelans working in Region Seven, not just in the mining industry but also for local commerce such as bars and shops. According to Kaieteur, Guyanese authorities have been taking a soft stance on their presence due to the economic and humanitarian crisis in their homeland.
Venezuela’s socialist regime claims at press time to have only recorded 882 cases of the coronavirus and ten deaths. Venezuela has been in a state of lockdown since March, accelerating the country’s economic demise and forcing millions of more people out of work and therefore unable to earn mostly pitiful salaries.
The exodus of Venezuelans began with the rise of socialism in the country 20 years ago but became a global migrant crisis within the past five years. Approximately five million refugees and migrants have left in recent years, many in need of medical assistance, in what has become the largest external displacement crisis in Latin America’s recent history.
Rather than fleeing to Guyana, the vast majority of Venezuelans have chosen to go to other Hispanic countries across the region. According to figures from the U.N, neighboring Colombia is by far and away from the most regular destination, hosting a total of 1.8 million people and rising. Other popular destinations include Peru (861,000), Chile (455,500), Ecuador (366,600) and Brazil (253,500).
Another issue faced by Guyanese authorities is the growing number of Brazilians crossing the border freely. This trend is of particular concern given the high number of Chinese coronavirus cases in Brazil, which now has 315,000 recorded cases and over 20,000 deaths, the third-highest figure worldwide. Guyana has confirmed just 127 cases and 10 fatalities.
“The fact is they are moving around in Region Seven and in (other parts of) Guyana,” one local official complained. “The presence of the Brazilians is nothing new. However, they are moving back and forth across the border. They come and go as they please.”