WITH mounting pressure from Venezuelans fleeing to neighbouring countries in search of better socio-economic conditions, Guyana and Colombia are exploring the possibility of strengthening relations on border security.
Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, María Holguín, who was in Guyana briefly on Saturday to engage with the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs on strengthening bilateral relations, said border security is “quite important” to Colombia.
“We want to strengthen relations [in border security] and have a Memorandum of Understanding between the [Colombian] Minister of Defence and the Minister of Security here,” Minister Holguín told the Guyana Chronicle.
Interest in this area has been piqued due to cognisance of Venezuelans fleeing into neighbouring countries like Guyana and Colombia, due to the acute economic austerity being experienced by Venezuela under the Maduro-led administration.
According to a Reuters’ news report, Colombia has faced the brunt of the exodus of Venezuelans. Reports indicate that some 550,000 Venezuelans — a 62 per cent increase — are now living in Colombia since the latter half of 2017. Many have entered Colombia illegally.