Desperate residents of Venezuela are trying to hide in dense vegetation near the border with Colombia. Here, they carry tens of kilograms of scrap metal to get money and buy food to survive. In January, Maria, 52 was forced to sell her favorite car and "income" because she had no money to buy parts. Now, she walks along this dirty path with scrap metal to sell cargo on the other side of the border. By the way, the Border Patrol of Colombia found about 30 such illegal "passes." One of the largest was found near Cucuta City.
Most of these "merchants" claim that they cannot make ends meet. Venezuela’s economy began to fall during the reign of President Nicolas Maduro. In addition, everyone knows about the political actions in Venezuela and the opposition leader. The situation in Venezuela aggravated after America sent humanitarian aid.
"I have to sell scrap to earn money for children and grandchildren, because they want to eat. Having sold all this scrap I can buy carrot, flour, spices and potatoes. This food will allow to survive 2-3 days and after that I will have to come to the border with Colombia again," Maria said.
Colombian officials say people who live in the border region do not need visas. Here the people of Venezuela regularly carry scrap to sell it and buy food and water. All these people are calling on the President of Venezuela to remedy the situation and "revive" the economy. The border with Colombia was a popular spot for drug dealers. All gangs sold a large amount of gasoline with high margins.
“I don’t like this job, but I’ll come here again and again to make money and buy food to survive. Hope the Venezuelan economy will recover,” Maria added.
The Border Patrol of Colombia reports 42,000 people, who cross the border every day. But the patrol does not know how many people cross the border illegally.
Deputy Commander of police in Cucuta Francisco Gelvez said "The difficult economic situation of Venezuela provoked this problem. We continue to record a large number of smuggling and refugees."
About 2 thousand officers continue to monitor the border and smugglers in Cucuta.
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