Venezuela: Stop Deportations along Colombian Border
In response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the Venezuelan government’s forced deportations of more than 1,000 people living along the Colombian border, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The deportations by Venezuela are the government’s inhumane attempt to distract attention from the economic crisis gripping the country,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin American programs. “The government’s forced removal of people from their homes— including legal residents and Venezuelan citizens — as well as warrant-less searches and destruction of property, show a blatant disregard for the rule of law and fundamental rights. The government should end its declared state of emergency in Tachira and stop the deportations.”
After the shooting of three Venezuelan army officers, President Nicholas Maduro ordered troops to close the border with Colombia and declared a state of emergency in part of the border stte of Tachira. He also deployed 1,500 soldiers to conduct mass deportations, primarily in a poor slum along the Tachira River.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.