Venezuelans rush sick relatives to Colombia as governments tighten border controls

Venezuelans rush sick relatives to Colombia as governments tighten border controls

After three hospitalisations, two surgeries and a frantic search for medicine, the family of one month old Thiardo Gallardo expects him to fully recover from several infections.

Venezuelans rush sick relatives to Colombia as governments tighten border controls
Venezuelans rush sick relatives to Colombia as governments tighten border controls News Guide
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After three hospitalisations, two surgeries and a frantic search for medicine, the family of one month old Thiardo Gallardo expects him to fully recover from several infections. 

As the baby’s aunt rocks him in a public hospital in the border town of Cucuta, Colombia, she regrets her sister-in-law’s decision to give birth in Venezuela. 

“There they basically just sent us home even though he was very sick,” said Gabriela Gallardo. “If we would have waited longer, the baby might have died.”  

As the fifth year of a deep economic crisis drags on, the Gallardos form part of a growing exodus of Venezuelans looking to escape the collapsing economy. 

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos greets police officers during a meeting with regional authorities in Cucuta Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos greets police officers during a meeting with regional authorities in Cucuta Credit: Reuters

Neighbours Brazil and Colombia have absorbed hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants and the influx has strained public services, sparking tensions with locals. 

On Thursday the presidents from both countries announced plans to beef up border security...

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