19 May 2020

One family’s 250 mile walk home – as Colombia’s lockdown forces Venezuelan migrants to return

Latin America Correspondent

Before the pandemic, few countries were more vulnerable than Venezuela.

With its economy in freefall, food shortages, rising crime and a collapsed health system drove millions of Venezuelans from their country. Many settled in neighbouring Colombia.

But once the virus struck, a strict lockdown came into force there, meaning Venezuelan migrants in low paid jobs had little option but to return home.

We have followed one family who lost their rented flat and livelihoods in the Colombian capital Bogota, and were forced to begin their way home by foot. Their journey began with a 250-mile walk over mountains to Bucaramanga from where they hoped to edge their way back to their home town in Venezuela.

Our Latin America correspondent Guillermo Galdos reports.