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Colombia hosting 470,000 Venezuelans: Santos

Sunday, November 05, 2017

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AFP) — Colombia is bearing the brunt of Venezuela's economic and political chaos, President Juan Manuel Santos said Friday, hosting nearly 470,000 people who have fled the crisis.

He told reporters that Colombia was the country that “suffers most” from the crisis in Venezuela, with which it shares a 2,200-kilometre (1,370-mile)-long border.

Santos accused his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro of “destroying democracy” at a news conference in Bogota.

“We have made immense efforts to try to defuse this crisis in order to achieve some kind of democratic and peaceful solution,” he said.

On Thursday, Colombia was among the 12 American states of the so-called Lima Group meeting in Toronto to call on the United Nations to intervene in the crisis.

“It has been estimated that nearly 470,000 Venezuelans have arrived in our country, 202,000 regularly and nearly 276,000 irregularly,” he said.

The number has risen from three months ago, when Colombia estimated Venezuelan arrivals at 340,000.

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