A Venezuelan woman who was expectant lost her life as she could not cross rivers in Colombia. Simon Bolivar Bridge which used to serve as the main crossing point between Colombia and Venezuela was closed by the Venezuelan government a while ago. The closing down was due to the illegal crossings that took place. The border connecting Venezuela and Columbia was shut down on February 23rd leading to a lot of inconveniences to the people who depend on it. More than thirty thousand individuals walk through the border to access both nations in the process of trading food, medicine, and other basics.
The illegal crossing points are unbearable and messy for women
The IRC director, Marianne Menjivar, explained that the unlawful passages had become so chaotic to a point whereby people could sell food. She states that illegal armed groups run these prohibited crossings who charge money to let individuals cross. Most of the passersby are Venezuelans who are moving away from their land’s calamity to traverse through rocks and fast-flowing water streams. The prohibited crossing sites total to more than two hundred. This figure might be lesser as it is almost impossible to locate all of them. A bunch of hooligans controls each spot and demands unlawful fees to cross. Sexual violence and robberies are common.
Lack of quality healthcare in Venezuela forces pregnant women to cross over to Colombia
Ms. Menjivar further noted that women who require medical care are in a sensitive situation as they have to go to Colombia to get quality services. Now that the border is closed, it is risky for women especially the expectant. The IRC director revealed how she came across Lorena, a twenty-three-year-old who was five months pregnant, visiting the Cucuta’s IRC Centre. This facility is in Colombian city near the Venezuelan border. Lorena wanted to get the free antenatal care absent in Venezuela due to the medicine scarcity and high fees.