2020 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Stories, 3rd Prize

Exodus

Photographer

Nicolò Filippo Rosso

15 August, 2018

A Venezuelan migrant accused of theft is arrested by police in Maicao, Colombia.

A political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela, from 2016 onwards, led to an increasing outflow of migrants from the country. Venezuelans said they were compelled to leave for reasons of insecurity and violence, lack of access to food, medicine and essential services, and loss of income due to the political situation. Colombia feels the impact of this exodus most keenly. According to the UNHCR, by October 2019 approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans had left the country, of which 1.6 million were in Colombia. Others had moved through Colombia before going on to surrounding countries. Even though Venezuela officially closed its land border with Colombia in February, around 300 clandestine crossing points remained active. More than half of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia lacked regular status, and so had no access to health, education or legal employment. Charity organizations and NGOs helped supply people with medical attention and food, but many ended up in informal settlements or living on the streets. Early in 2020, the Colombian government announced two new Special Stay Permits that would allow more than 100,000 Venezuelans to stay and work in the country, and ruled that children born in the country to Venezuelan parents could acquire Colombian nationality, but vast numbers of people remain dispossessed.

About the photographer

Nicolò Filippo Rosso

Nicoló Filippo Rosso, born in Italy in 1985, is a freelance photographer living in Bogotá, Colombia.  Rosso’s work focuses on long-term projects in Latin America. S...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/250
ISO
640
Camera
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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