COLOMBIA

GENERAL DATA

Poverty rate: 

According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), in 2019, the percentage of multidimensional poverty in the country was 17.5%, which is 1.6% less than 2018 when the rate was 19.1%.

Based on CEPAL reporting, 29.9% of the Colombian population found itself in conditions of extreme poverty in 2018.

According to the Colombian Department of National Planning, the 2018 multidimensional poverty index corresponded to 19.62%.

MIGRATION DATA

  • Emigration: According to the magazine Datos Macro, and in keeping with data published by the UN, Colombia has 2,868,032 emigrants, which corresponds to 5.76 of the Colombian population. Of this total, 54.42% are women (1,561,138) and 45.58% are men (1,307,894). Colombian migration has been directed primarily toward Venezuela (33.23%), the United States (27.82), and Spain (12.82%).

  • Immigration:According to Datos Macro, in 2019, Colombia had 1,142,319 immigrants, which corresponds to 2.29% of the Colombian population. Of this total, 50.4% are men (575,805), and 49.59% are women (556,514). Immigration arrives mainly from Venezuela (91.81%), the United States (1.76%), and Ecuador (1.33%). According to information from Colombian Immigration on the 30th of April, 2020 (Radiografía, Venezolanos en Colombia): the total number of Venezuelans in Colombia rose to 1,788,380 of which 763,544 are considered regular (documented) and 1,024,836 are considered irregular. The number of women is 883,544 and 904,836 are men. While Venezuelans are present in almost the entire country, there are places where the they have reached more than 100,000, such as: Bogotá (352,627), Norte de Santander (203,604), Atlántico (165,229), La Guajira (158,708), Antioquia (156,424), and Santander (107,587).

  • Transit:Caribbean, South American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African migrants transit Colombia on route to the US. This transit also occurs now to the south with migrants heading toward Ecuador en route to Southern Cone countries. This group of migrants is composed largely of Venezuelans, Haitians, Cubans, and Africans. According to declarations by Colombian Immigration, more than 80,000 people have returned to Venezuela through June 2020 by situations of forced return due to precarity of living conditions.

  • Returning citizens:Deportees largely arrive from the US.

  • Refugees:Colombia is the country in the region with the largest number of refugees, 300,000 recognized in 2018. At the same time, there has been recognized 140 Venezuelans as refugees.

In the year 2020, Colombia became the country with the second largest number of refugees worldwide. According to Revista Dinero, the country hosted almost 1.8 million displaced Venezuelans. This is only surpassed by Turkey which hosts 3.9 million. According to the coordination platform for refugees and migrants R4V, for March 2020, the approximate figure of migrants, refugees, and asylum petitioners of Venezuelan origin in Colombia was 1,809,872. However, Colomiban Immigration said that in April the figure rose to 1,825,000 people. Using these R4V figures as a base, in May 2019 there were 5,303 Venezuelan asylum peitions in progress, and 140 recognized refugees for December of that year. According to information from the consulate, reported by the project Migración Venezuela, in 2019 Colombia received 10,479 new asylum requests from Venezuelan citizens; meanwhile, Peru and Brazil together represent 70% of new Venezuelan petitions of the same year with 482,571 and 129,988 respectively.

  • Internally displaced:According to the governmental Registro Único de Víctimas, the number of internally displaced exceeds 8,036,014.

  • New internal displacements:According to the CODHES Information System, just in the first trimester of this year there have been 11,000 newly registered forced and massive displacements across 22 events, with afro-descendant and indigenous populations most affected (56%)

35,287

1,248,417

IMPACT BY COVID-19

* Weekly data update

REGISTERED CASES

NUMBER OF DEATHS

DATE: NOVEMBER 23, 2020

STATE MEASURES

All the decrees and administrative acts adopted in the framework of the health emergency can be consulted according to competent entities in:

 

  • On March 14, the seven border crossing points between Colombia and Venezuela were closed. The entry of persons from any country in Asia or Europe is restricted. Only national citizens, members of diplomatic missions and resident foreigners are allowed to enter according to the resolution 408 of March 15. On March 17, the border crossing points with Brazil, Peru, Panama and Ecuador closed. 

  • Colombia has had problematic diplomatic relations with Venezuela since a year ago. The closure and strengthening of borders (including militarization) is a policy that has been implemented even before Covid-19.

  • Before the emergency, in January 2020, the Colombian state resolved that Venezuelan citizens who had entered the country before November 29, 2019, with a passport and entry stamp to Colombia, could apply for the Permanent Residence Permit (PEP), service that was suspended during the health crisis. The Special Permit to Stay for the Promotion of Formalization (PEPFF) was also created as an exceptional mechanism aimed at irregularized migrants who wish to work in Colombia.

  • There has been an increase in immigration control, border closures, and deployment of monitoring, surveillance, and deportation operations associated with the compliance of the mandatory isolation by Covid-19.

  • Operation Mirror was carried out, in conjunction with Ecuador. This operation consists of the militarization of the border between the two countries to reinforce surveillance which includes 500 soldiers and air forces overflights in the area. The focus was on routes and irregularized crossing points. 

  • Borders for Migration, an instance of the Presidency of the Republic in coordination with organizations of Venezuelan migrants, designed a plan that focuses on assisting the vulnerable migrant population and host communities.

  • The Ministry of Health set guidelines to assist migrants, invited local governments to promote dialogue and the development of intersectoral strategies to deal with the pandemic. It also arranges to have spaces for preventive isolation and contagious of COVID-19 for migrants who have no place of residence and are in an irregularized situation in the country.

  • The presidency manages the distribution of food in 40 municipalities prioritizing to assist Venezuelans in a vulnerable condition. It was calculated that the food will reach 800,000 Venezuelans, especially the ones irregularized. 

  • The government decreed that “the evictions are prohibited for Colombians, Venezuelans, those with one-month, and six-month contracts and those who are paid daily. In Colombia, it is illegal to evict families without a court ruling. This measure is extended up to two months after the emergency. "

  • The Colombian government arranged a humanitarian corridor for Venezuelan migrants who decided to return to their country of origin due to the pandemic. 

  • After the closure of all points of entry at the border on March 17, the Mayor's Office of Pamplona gave power to the police to prevent the entry and stay of irregularized migrants.

  • Bogotá's Mayor's Office launched a program to provide subsidies to 350.000 families below the poverty line and residents in the capital, which does not exclude migrants. It also launched the Bogotasolidariaencasa.gov.co platform to channel donations.

  • Starting on March 22, a temporary app called “Tell us how you are” was launched, through a virtual platform installed on the website of Migración Colombia, which seeks to collect information and put in contact Colombians abroad with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the consulates.

  • 12th of June 2020 – The Second Commission of the Senate takes up debate of Bill 036 of 2019 through which it seeks to establish a legal framework for a Comprehensive Migration Policy of the Colombian State.

*For more detail go to the digital archive that we created:

In mid-March 2020, nearly every country on the continent declared a health emergency. These countries closed their borders and adopted a series of exceptional measures, arguing that forced immobility as a  solution to contain the virus. Following the shutdown of borders,  more than 30 researchers from the Americas, interested in analyzing the migratory question politically, organized virtually and began to consider the particular situation of millions of migrants, women, men, children and adolescents, from the continent and/or from other latitudes, all of whom are mobile and in transit.

Original Concept: Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston

General Coordination:Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston & Ulla D. Berg, Rutgers University

Research, Systematization and Development of Contents: Soledad Álvarez Velasco, University of Houston;  Ulla D. Berg, Rutgers University; Lucía Pérez-Martínez, FLACSO-Ecuador; Mónica Salmon, New School for Social Research; Sebastián León,  Rutgers University.

Coordination polyphonic map: Iréri Ceja Cárdenas: Museo Nacional/ Universidad Federal de Rio de Janeiro

Project Advisor: Nicholas De Genova, Universidad of Houston.

 

Translation team Spanish - English: 

Soledad Álvarez Velasco, Mónica Salmón, Ulla Berg, Luin Goldring, Tanya Basok, Ingrid Carlson, Gabrielle Cabrera.

Translation team Spanish - Portuguese: 

Iréri Ceja, Gustavo Dias, Gislene Santos, Elisa Colares, Handerson Joseph, Caio Fernandes, María Villarreal.

Website Design and Development:  ACHU! Studio; Francisco Hurtado Caicedo, Social Observatory of Ecuador

Photography: David Gustafsson y Cynthia Briones.

Video: David Gustafsson.

Some of the researchers of this project are members of these CLACSO Working Groups

English translation and proofreading by Gabrielle Cabrera, Rutgers University.

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