UN Agency: Asylum Requests by Venezuelans Surge This Year
U.N. officials say more than 52,000 Venezuelans have applied for asylum this year, nearly twice the number in all of 2016, and are urging all sides to renounce violence amid a political crisis.
The U.N. refugee agency says the United States is the top destination for Venezuelan asylum-seekers, with 18,300 requests, followed by 12,960 in Brazil and 11,735 in Argentina.
UNHCR said the overall figures “represent only a fraction of the total number” of people who may need international protection. It estimates that many of the 300,000 Venezuelans in neighboring Colombia may not register as asylum-seekers and “opt to remain in an irregular situation.”
Separately Friday, the U.N. human rights office noted figures from the Venezuelan Attorney General’s office indicating 92 people have died in connection with protests since April 1.