Quarterly Mixed Migration Update Latin America and the Caribbean, Quarter 1, 2021 – World – ReliefWeb

Posted: April 23, 2021 at 12:55 pm

Key Updates

The problem of refugees and migrants coming from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean being left stranded in the region is increasing, as a result of extended border closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In January, there were between 680 and 1,000 extra-regional refugees and migrants - predominantly from Haiti, followed by Cuba and several African countries - stranded in Necocl, a Colombian town near the border with Panama. In February, 1,500 people on the move were blocked in camps throughout Panama. At the same time, approximately 600 people on the move, mostly Haitians, were stranded at the Brazil-Peru border, while trying to migrate north toward or returning home.

More and more countries in the region are militarizing their borders. Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru are the latest countries to militarize their borders aiming to prevent irregular migration. Peru deployed 1,200 troops to the border, followed by Ecuador with 200 troops on January 27th. Mexico, that had started militarizing its southern border in January, increased the presence of National Guard troops to 8,715 officers as of March 22nd.

Onward migration in the region is on the rise. Haitian refugees and migrants who had previously settled in Brazil have been leaving the country due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Additionally, faced with long processing times for asylum and immigration proceedings in Mexico and changes in the U.S. immigration policy, many asylum seekers in Mexico have also changed their destination and decided to head toward the U.S.

Sharp increase in the arrival of unaccompanied and separated children at the U.S. border. Between January and March, 34,173 children on the move were apprehended at the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Only 30 of them were expelled, while the remaining were allowed entry, in line with the new U.S. administrations position on the protection of refugee and migrant children.

Colombia and the U.S. announce strategies to regularize Venezuelans in their territory. Colombia is set to grant temporary protected status to approximately 2.5 million Venezuelans and the U.S. to about 300,000 Venezuelans.

During the first quarter of 2021, two migrant caravans departed from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.The first caravan departed in January and registered between 8,000 and 9,000 refugees and migrants.On March 31st, a caravan with around 400 people on the move including a considerable number of unaccompanied children - departed Honduras. Both caravans encountered Guatemalan military forces at the border upon entry, preventing their passage.

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Quarterly Mixed Migration Update Latin America and the Caribbean, Quarter 1, 2021 - World - ReliefWeb

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