- Title: Venezuelan asylum seekers in Mexico surge as crisis deepens
- Date: 6th August 2017
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (FILE) (REUTERS) VENEZUELAN EXPATS AT PROTEST PROTESTER HOLDING UP PLACARD THAT READS "HELP US MEXICO" PROTESTERS HOLDING UP VENEZUELA FLAG GENERAL VIEW OF PROTEST PROTESTER ADDRESSING CROWD ON LOUDSPEAKER PROTESTERS APPLAUDING SPEAKER
- Embargoed: 20th August 2017 00:29
- Keywords: surge of asylum seekers to Mexico Venezuela Nicolas Maduro political crisis in Venezuela
- Location: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- City: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0026SVR39J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuela's deepening political and economic crisis has provoked a surge of asylum seekers to Mexico this year, government figures show, with applications to stay in Mexico setting a record pace.
During just the first six months of this year, 1,420 Venezuelans have sought asylum in Mexico, a nearly four-fold jump compared to the 361 total Venezuelan asylum applicants for all of 2016. No Venezuelans applied for asylum in Mexico in 2014 or 2015.
Venezuelans made up 21 percent of total asylum seekers in Mexico during the first half of this year, compared to just 4 percent during the same period in 2016. About 40 percent of the Venezuelan asylum applicants have received approval, making them eligible for other protections and benefits including the possibility of obtaining a work visa, while the rest are still being processed. Mexico's Deputy Foreign Minister Socorro Flores linked the surge in applications to the political, social and economic crisis happening in Venezuela.
In the latest twist in the slow-motion crisis, Venezuela's chief prosecutor was fired on Saturday (August 05) and ordered to stand trial, less than 24 hours after a newly elected legislative superbody was installed with sweeping powers to strengthen President Nicolas Maduro's grip on power. Flores told Reuters that dialogue could bring Venezuela back from the brink.
Street protests since April in the South American nation have left more than 120 people dead as rock-throwing protesters have been met by rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
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