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US’ Blinken says Colombia’s migration strategy is ‘model for other places to replicate’

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BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - The Colombian President Gustavo Petro (L) and the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken (R) shake hands at the end of a joint news conference after a meeting on his first official visit to South America at Casa de Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia on October 03, 2022. (Juancho Torres - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 05, 2022 - 01:30 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Tuesday with the Mayor of Bogota Claudia Lopez in Colombia’s capital to discuss American support for Venezuelan migrants.

Blinken visited a migrant integration center in support of Colombia’s Temporary Protected Status policy for Venezuelan migrants, which, he said, remains a model for the region.

“What we have seen today could be a model for other places to replicate,” he said.

Under the administration of conservative President Ivan Duque, Colombia began granting 10-year Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans, allowing them to work for 10 years. The migrant centers facilitate access to public health or education services throughout the country and bring together all administrative services in one place. ​​​​​​​

“This means we will not have a lost generation of Venezuelans,” he said.

Bogota hosts 500,000 Venezuelans, more than 20% of the 2.5 million migrants from the neighboring country who have arrived in Colombia.

“Never in the history of the world” had there been so many people migrating from their homes, a phenomenon that is being experienced especially in the Americas, said Blinken.

The top US diplomat met Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Monday to discuss fighting drugs, migration and the climate crisis.

Blinken is visiting as part of an international tour of Latin America.

He is now headed to Chile where he will meet left-wing President Gabriel Boric before traveling to Peru for the annual General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) where he will hold talks on regional issues.

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