More immigrant issues are present between Chile and Peru.

Human Interest

Jimir, Yuri and Belquis never saw each other even though they were in similar places, they never spoke, but if they had done it at the penultimate stop that their eventful life as migrants had given them, fleeing Chile, they would have been surprised how similar their broken dreams were, their fears, their shared destiny.

Jimir, indefinite age, disheveled hair, dark skin and with a combative spirit, arrived at the border between Chile and Peru more than three weeks ago with the intention of completing his umpteenth escape from poverty, this time back to Colombia, and there he continues, living poorly. between cardboard and plastic, because the country where he worked -Chile- does not let him leave and the one who needs to enter to complete his journey -Peru- does not want to open the door either.

Her crime, having entered Chile irregularly, where for some time she was able to work as a domestic employee or in the service sector, without a contract, in the informal market.

“I was working here, I helped my father, my daughter, my sister. But the situation here became very difficult,” he explains to Jimir Coromoto, referring to the increase in violence in Chile and the legislative changes introduced due to the heat of the political debate, in particular the recommendation of the Chilean attorney general’s office that pretrial detention be ordered for undocumented migrants suspected of having committed a crime.

“We cannot work here because they ask for a lot of documents, they ask for too many documents, we do not have a passport or a visa. We do not have a Chilean ID. We are Venezuelans, but there are countrymen who come to do things that they should not do here or in their countries and for them we pay everything , we all pay for the broken plate”, complains the Venezuelan.

Sunset is about to fall over the Pacific and in the dry land that separates Chile from Peru, the humidity of the sea mixes with the autumn wind coming from the altiplano, knocking down the nocturnal temperatures.

Around him, close to 400 more people, all of them men, women and children trying to cross the divide, rummage through their threadbare bags to combat the cold one more night.

Let’s see if “at least the Government’s heart softens, if it has a family, children, we also have children, we have a family, we are not all the same. If its heart softens, so that it opens the border (and so on) You can leave, even if it’s to work in Colombia, because we’re not going to stay here in Peru to mess with it, no,” she implores.


A few meters further on, Belquis Vasques assures, for his part, that he wants to return to Venezuela because after six years of stumbling around his South America, he misses his roots.

“I lived in Peru, I lived in Ecuador, I came to Chile and well, I want to try it in my country. I know that things are difficult in my country, but what happens, I’ll explain. In these countries you have a bit of economic stability, but (here) xenophobia, classism, racism… children at school suffer a lot from ‘bullying'”, denounces.

“And that is one of the things that makes you think, what do you do with having economic stability but without having emotional stability,” he wonders.

Vasques arrived at the border at the beginning of May, equally fearful of the new laws but above all of not having been able to integrate into the country despite having worked hard, she says, and was one of the nearly 200 lucky ones who got a seat on the repatriation flight that took off from the area on May 7 for Caracas.

“Yes, I heard that things were difficult to enter Peru, but I have been here for 8 days. The Government of Peru closed the borders because they say that we are criminals, we are murderers who do not want us in their country. I am not a criminal, no I am a murderer. I am simply a mother who wants to cross Peru to reach her country,” she told EFE hours before leaving, among the bags hanging from strings that were her home at that time.


Yuri Gil, a stylist by profession, barely five months have served to discover the miseries and traps that are hidden behind irregular migration, a global phenomenon that is now on the rise also in South America, and particularly in Chile, a country that has been locked up for decades. in itself.

“I am a stylist, I worked in Santiago de Chile as a stylist. I would like to return to my country to do the same. To continue with my work,” she says passionately before assuring that she has only been there for five months and explaining why she was unable to adapt.

“At night, very cold, very cold. We are afraid, being here with the children because we have small children. We are afraid that they will get sick. This, with the barriers that they have made, we had to move to this place because it gave us afraid to have them in that place”, he adds before thanking the solidarity of some inhabitants of the area

“We have survived several days here, thank God and the Chileans do not bring food. And we have been able to survive with the children. It is not easy,” he adds. His odyssey also closed a chapter on Sunday: Gil was also one of the lucky ones who was able to board the first plane sent from Venezuela.

According to what Interior Secretary Manuel Monsalve said this Friday, Chile and Venezuela are negotiating the terms for a broader agreement that facilitates the repatriation and expulsion of migrants and puts an end to this border drama.

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