Peru relaxes entry requirements for some categories of Venezuelans

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An official of UNHCR speaks with Venezuelan migrants on August 25, 2018, upon their arrival in Huaquillas, Ecuador, border with Peru, after touring in buses facilitated by the Ecuadorian authorities as part of a “humanitarian corridor” to facilitate the passage of Venezuelans who migrated due to the economic crisis in Venezuela.
Venezuelan migrants denounced on Saturday that Ecuador “cheated” them and delayed their transfer by road to Peru, which prevented them from crossing to that country before the passport requirement began to apply. / AFP PHOTO / Luis ROBAYO

Peru, which has imposed tougher border controls to cope with a wave of Venezuelan migrants fleeing their crisis-wracked country, has announced a relaxation of the rules for pregnant women, people older than 70 and children joining their parents.

The order, which was issued Saturday, came after Peru implemented a new rule requiring Venezuelans to carry a passport to enter the country. Previously, only an identity card was required.

But Peru had already partly reversed course on that decision, saying it would still allow entry to those claiming asylum.

Peru has one of the region’s fastest-growing economies, with 4.7 percent growth projected for next year.

But anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise, and stricter requirements for Venezuelans enjoy popular support.

An estimated 400,000 Venezuelans are already in Peru.

According to the UN, as many as 4,000 people have been arriving daily in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia and Brazil, where migrants have been violently turned back by locals concerned with increasing crime.

Venezuela is in a fourth straight year of recession, with double-digit declines in its gross domestic product.

The inflation rate there is expected to reach a stunning one million percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.