SANTIAGO – The Chilean government is looking for solutions to solve the migrant crisis at the border with Peru. Last week, the unborn baby of a Venezuelan woman died while she was waiting to obtain a visa to get access into Chile. Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants are still waiting to get their paperwork in order at the Chilean consulate in Tacna.
To solve the migrant crisis at the border with Peru, the Chilean government is trying to get a better view on the numbers of migrants seeking entrance. The Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defense are now working together to handle the migrant influx.
The crisis at the border got another dramatic turn last week when the unborn baby of a Venezuelan woman died while she was awaiting the democratic responsibility visa, needed to get into Chile. According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, “it was not possible to lend medical assistance to foreign citizens in a neighboring country.”
Chaos at Chilean Consulate After New Visa Regulations
Recently, Chile changed its visa regulations to handle the influx of Venezuelan migrants. Venezuelans who wish to enter Chile can now opt for a democratic responsibility visa. This visa was only available at the consulate in Venezuela but can now be requested at any Chilean consulate in the world.
With the visa, migrants can stay for one year in Chile and extend their stay later for another year.
After the changed requirements, the Chilean Consulate in Tacna, Peru, saw applications for these visas increase. The consulate has issued more than 1,000 visas for Venezuelan migrants in the past three weeks and has hired more personnel to handle the applications.
Migrants Sleep on the Street Awaiting Their Visa
According to the Tacna Ombudsman Office, over 4,000 Venezuelan migrants are still in the southern Peruvian town as hundreds of them are trying to obtain a democratic responsibility visa.
Peruvian newspaper Diario Correo writes that migrants have been sleeping in makeshift tents for weeks now, while they wait for the visa. Their numbers have increased after Peru changed its visa regulations last month. Migrants need to have passports and visas to stay in the country, which redirects migrants to seek entry into Chile.
The Chilean government estimates that over 300,000 Venezuelan migrants could try to enter the country in the next 12 months. According to the UN refugee agency, four million Venezuelans have already left the worsening crisis in their country.