South America sighs under Venezuelan exodus
by Bart Coolen and Nienke Monnee

Inflation in Venezuela is likely to reach the million percent this year. The IMF expects that this will rise to no less than 10 million percent in 2019. Salaries and savings are therefore no longer worth anything. Food and medicine are barely available, if at all, and in the streets of Caracas the right of the strongest applies. The result is that millions of Venezuelans flee to countries in Central and South America. Meanwhile, the crisis in Venezuela begins to work disruptive in countries like Peru. The end of the exodus seems far from in sight.

A bridge over a stinking open sewer to the north of the city of Tumbes forms the border between Peru and Ecuador. The smell of rotting meat in the burning sun is terrible. Every day thousands of refugees from Venezuela arrive in Peru. Five young men who have just crossed the border walk behind each other, the gaze tightly focused on the endless asphalt. In a backpack and some plastic bags they wear some clothes and a toilet roll. They have been on their way for 15 days and are dead. The dream of setting up their own company in a new country and building a new life with them, keeps them going.

(more coming soon….)