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Perú: Xenophobia and discrimination against refugees and migrants from Venezuela increased over the month

(Tumbes, 22/01/20) At the northern border in Tumbes, partners continued reporting an increase in irregular flows through informal entry points.

These arrivals pose a challenge to calculate the real number of people entering the country. Xenophobia and discrimination against refugees and migrants from Venezuela increased over the month as a result of a growing concern over an outbreak of criminality, attributed to the Venezuelan population by the media and public figures.

#TuCausaEsMiCausa campaign brought hundreds of Venezuelan and Peruvian volunteers together to give-back to host communities. Together they cleaned beach areas and riversides in Tumbes and in Lima, reforested Arequipa and renovated schools in Cuzco

Peru is the second country of arrival of Venezuelans worldwide, after Colombia, and the main host country for those seeking asylum. Partners continue reporting irregular entries to Peru through different informal entry points in Tumbes. On 7 December, the Ombudsperson’s Office in Tumbes warned local authorities about new routes used for human trafficking, particularly through the precarious roads of Casitas (Tumbes department) bound for Máncora or Talara (Piura).

In response to this, the Superintendence for Migrations (SNM), with the support of other national authorities, blocked trails and paths in Tumbes allegedly used for human trafficking and smuggling. In addition, the SNM has warned international haulers that the transportation of people who do not meet regular entry requirements into Peru will be fined and subject to human trafficking investigation.

The Minister of Employment, Sylvia Cáceres, declared that the arrival of Venezuelan workforce is the second factor that contributes to youth unemployment among Peruvian nationals. The minister spoke about the impact of employers taking advantage of Venezuelans’ need for jobs to pay lower salaries and replace the national workforce.

On 22 December, the Governor of Arequipa, Mr. Elmer Cáceres, urged president Vizcarra to close the borders to Venezuelan citizens. The Governor described the arrival of Venezuelans as an invasion that takes away job opportunities from the Peruvian people. The discourse coming from the Governor follows overt discontent, discrimination and xenophobia against Venezuelans, where media coverage has also played a major role.

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