On November 25, Colombia’s immigration authorities reported the deportation of 59 Venezuelans for allegedly planning to disrupt “national security” during protests against the Iván Duque government, which started November 21.
The foreigners accused of “threatening public order and national security,” will be turned over to Venezuelan authorities in San Fernando de Atabapo (in the southwest).
“We have respected their participation in protests. We have helped those who, like the Venezuelan people, were in need. But we will not tolerate a group of misfits coming to undermine the security of our cities,” said Christian Krüger, head of Migration Colombia, in a press release.
According to Krüger, the foreigners’ actions create “xenophobic outbursts” that “give a bad name to the Venezuelans who are working for a better country.”
The head of police had reported that 29 Venezuelans were arrested during the curfews in Bogotá and Cali for disobeying the order.
Additionally, before the protest on November 21, President Iván Duque had announced the expulsion of 24 foreigners from the same country for allegedly planning to infiltrate the protest.
With the opposition’s support, trade union workers, students, indigenous people, and artists exerted pressure in the streets over Duque’s conservative government, which appears weaker 18 months after he took office.
Due to the widespread turmoil in the streets, the head of government led an initial “social dialogue” on November 24, although protesters did not participate, and another protest was organized.
The Duque government has joined the United States in the diplomatic efforts to force Nicolás Maduro to relinquish power.