Barranquilla, September 10, 2015 (SIG).
President Juan Manuel Santos stated that the National Government is guaranteeing humanitarian aid and education, as well as security and economic benefits, to the Colombians deported from Venezuela who have entered the country through Paraguachón in La Guajira.
The Head of State explained that 311 people have arrived to Paraguachón over the past weeks, 265 of them deported and 42 repatriated, “due to the measures adopted by the Venezuelan Government”.
“Yesterday we recorded the arrival of 21 deportees, 2 repatriates and 123 people who returned voluntarily”, he added.
The President pointed out that in Paraguachón, since the first day of the border closing, a team of the Department for Social Prosperity (DPS), led by its director, Tatyana Orozco, “is on top of all the humanitarian tasks”.
The President stated that a single registry has been created for the affected people with needs, aimed at “enabling us to meet their demands”. These people will enjoy benefits in the municipalities where they reside. The Red Unidos is serving all those who are arriving, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
He also pointed out that shelters have been set up for the deportees, but most of them have preferred to go to their places of origin.
“To date, 186 people have used this transport mechanism, which is being coordinated with the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration. This has been fully planned and properly executed”, he reiterated.
Likewise, he informed that the immunization days have already started, to prevent any epidemic or any health-related problem.
Mobility of the Wayúu people
The President said that he has given “precise instructions” to allow for the full mobility of the Wayúu people.
“I want to be emphatic on that matter. The Wayúu natives are our fellow citizens and we are protecting and defending them in everything that is in or reach”, he said.
Regarding education, he said: “I have given instructions, as I did in Cúcuta, to establish a humanitarian corridor in order to ensure that no children will miss a single day at school and to provide the workers with the chance to go to their workplaces”.
He stated that the Governor of La Guajira is currently meeting with the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Mines, to review this action plan. “I have asked these two ministers, along with the Director of the DPS, to be on the alert for any evolution”, he said.
The Head of State emphasized that on economic issues, the department of La Guajira is covered by the Economic Emergency decrees.
“I want to tell all the inhabitants of the border municipalities that, as in Norte de Santander, La Guajira is covered by the Economic Emergency decrees, and they will benefit from any measures adopted on the matter”, he said.
“Yesterday I announced that some municipalities and some products would be exempted from the VAT, and we will continue to look after the situation to strengthen all economic activities in the border; the purpose, as we have repeated several times, is to enable us, in the long run, to turn this crisis into an opportunity”, he said.
President Santos informed that no fuel shortages have been recorded. “The Ministry of Mines has precise instructions to expand the quotas and monitor service stations in order to guarantee fuel supplies”, he pointed out.
The Head of State said that security is being reinforced in this area of the border.
“The Minister of Defense will hold a Security Council to establish, along with the community, whatever is necessary in order to guarantee the security of all our fellow citizens on our side of the border”, he concluded.