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Colombians flee from Venezuela

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 01:28

Tensions increase on Venezuelan-Colombian border after Venezuela closes border crossings and deports hundreds of Colombians. Sean Carberry reports.

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STORY: Colombians are streaming out of Venezuela with everything they can carry. Last week, Venezuela closed border crossings and has deported more than 1,000 Colombians. The action came after a shootout along the border last week between smugglers and troops that left three soldiers wounded. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the deportations are an effort to crack down on paramilitaries. One deportee Juan Manuel Arteaga says their treatment has been inhumane. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN AFFECTED BY BORDER SITUATION, JUAN MANUEL ARTEAGA, SAYING: "Yes we are in a foreign country, but they can't treat us like this, they didn't let us gather any of our belongings and now some people have to leave in a hurry because the military comes, or doesn't come and that itself is a problem because one lives in anguish," Some five million Colombians live in Venezuela. Deportations have doubled this year over 2014. Many who have fled Venezuela are residing in temporary housing near the border. Colombian Johana Echeverri alleges that many Colombians have experienced abuse from Venezuelan authorities. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COLOMBIAN AFFECTED BY BORDER SITUATION, JOHANA ECHEVERRI, SAYING: "Why would anyone want to go where you aren't wanted? Where they've treated us like garbage, where they've insulted us, where they've been beaten up. The mistreatment hasn't just been physical but also psychological mistreatment as well." Foreign ministers from both governments will meet on Wednesday to discuss the border crisis.

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Colombians flee from Venezuela

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 01:28