Asylum applications from Venezuelans in Mexico skyrocket in 2017By Elliot Bullman
More than 1,000 Venezuelan asylum requests have been received.
The number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers in Mexico has grown strongly so far in 2017 as a reflection of a deepening political crisis that has left more than 120 people dead in the South American country.
During the first six months of the year, Mexico received more than 1,400 applications for asylum from Venezuelans, almost four times more applications registered than the whole of 2016, according to official data. In the previous two years, no Venezuelan sought asylum in Mexico.
Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Socorro Flores, said the increase reflects the serious situation in the oil country, which since April has been plunged into violent protests against the government, which has just installed a controversial Constituent Assembly.
The official said that about 40 percent of applications received this year have been approved, offering Venezuelans the chance to find work in Mexico, while the remaining applications are still being processed.
Next week, foreign ministers from the region will meet in Lima to assess the situation in Venezuela, increasing pressure on President Nicolás Maduro, after members of Mercosur suspended the country on Saturday demanding that it restore democracy.
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