Die andere vluchtelingencrisis: hoe Colombia volstroomt met wanhopige Venezolanen

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San José de Cúcuta, Colombia: de zon brandt meedogenloos op de hoofden van de honderden Venezolanen die al vier uur in de rij staan voor het Colombiaanse immigratiekantoor bij de Bolívar Brug. Zakjes water worden uitgedeeld in een tent van het Rode Kruis, waar migranten ook van een internetverbinding en telefoon gebruik kunnen maken om familieleden van hun soms dagenlange tocht op te hoogte te houden.

Lees mijn verhaal voor Vrij Nederland.

As Colombia tightens its border, more Venezuelan migrants brave clandestine routes

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It’s about the distance of a drive from Berlin to Athens. The 2,219-kilometre long Colombian-Venezuelan border has long been porous and difficult to manage. There are seven official crossings, but nearly 300 clandestine trails, called trochas, are fought over for control by various illegal armed groups, used by smugglers and crossed daily by thousands of migrants, often at great risk.

Read my article for IRIN News.

Half a million and counting: Venezuelan exodus puts new strains on Colombian border town

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The town of Cúcuta offers few jobs, little shelter and much crime, but for Venezuelan migrants it’s better than home

The sun is burning at the Colombian border town of Cúcuta. Red Cross workers attend to people with dehydration and fatigue as hundreds of Venezuelans line up to have their passports stamped, covering their heads with clothing and cardboard to fashion what shade they can.

Read my article for IRIN News.

Maduro seeks sell off of Venezuela’s natural resources to escape debt – analysis

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President Nicolás Maduro, an enigmatic smile blossoming beneath his tradmark mustache, proudly displays a gold ingot to the Venezuelan press. The metal is reportedly part of a batch dug and processed inside the Arco Minero, a vast area covering 112,000 square kilometers (43,243 square miles), south of the Orinoco River and in the Venezuelan Amazon.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the Arco Minero, a minerals expert who asks not to be named out of concern for his safety, flashes an even bigger smile as he casts doubt on the authenticity of that ingot and of the first batch of Arco Minero gold.

Read my article for Mongabay.

Digging into the Mining Arc

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For three months our reporter travelled Venezuela’s disputed mining areas where he was confronted with illegal armed groups, indigenous communities repressed by Colombian guerrillas and enclaves of informal miners tormented by malaria. An illegal detention by the National Guard almost prematurely ended this investigation.

In this journey, we talked to miners, companies, academics, indigenous, politicians and activists and gathered exclusive material on Latin America’s most underreported natural resources conflict.

Made possible by InfoAmazonia, Correo del Caroni in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Conflict Reporting.

Visit our platform on mining conflicts in Venezuela.