UNHCR chief: LatAm an increasingly complex theater of mass displacement

By Luis Ángel Reglero

Madrid, Nov 9 (EFE).- Latin America has become a theater of mass displacement of people due to an increasingly complex combination of factors and causes, Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told Efe in an interview.

The Italian diplomat traveled to Madrid to commemorate in a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention and in an interview with Efe offered an overview of the current migration crises in South and Central America.

There are an estimated 16 million refugees and displaced people hosted in foreign countries in the Americas, of which more than five million are Venezuelans, a number eclipsed only by Syria on a global scale.

“My conclusion is that Latin America is now the theater of huge displacements but the causes and the dynamics are very complicated,” Grandi said.

“They include the economics factor, the political factor and social factors related to violence against civilians, but the combination is really very complicated.

The Venezuelan crisis has prompted the largest exodus of people in the region who need protection, access to services and to be hosted by foreign nations such as Colombia.

“The latest displacement crisis is Nicaragua, it’s not completely new, there were already tens of thousands of Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica after the clashes in 2018.

“And now with this controversial election which just took place, the concern is that more people will be leaving the country,” he added in reference to Sunday’s presidential poll that kept authoritarian leader Daniel Ortega in power in a process shunned by most of the international community as illegitimate.

Grandi described Central America as a “very complicated area.”

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