“Don Óscar Soto?” —Asked the president of Colombia himself, Iván Duque, at the door of the house of this Venezuelan citizen, in the village of Márquez, in La Calera (Cundinamarca), one of the millions of migrants who have arrived in the country due to the humanitarian, political and economic crisis suffered by their nation.
—Mr. President Duque, a pleasure to meet you Soto replied to the president.
-How’s it going? The president continued to get closer to the foreigner, a 49-year-old metallurgical engineer from Acarigua, in the Portuguese state of Venezuela, who arrived in Colombia through Arauca, in 2017, seeking better living conditions. He was initially in Yopal, where he started his business and later traveled to Bogotá. He got to know the nearby municipality of La Calera and decided to stay there because it reminds him of his childhood.
—Very good very good. Very grateful to you, okay —Added the Venezuelan, who did not leave his surprise.
“I’m going to tell you the following,” Duque said without further ado: You are the first person in this country to receive the Temporary Protection Status card for 10 years. So that he is visible, so that he can exercise his rights, and so that Colombia receives him with open hands ”.
The act of delivery of the document, as a result of the decision of the Duque Government to create the Single Registry of Venezuelan Migrants (RUMV) and grant them a temporary permit for 10 years contrasts with the delirious statements of the Venezuelan regime, according to which the State Colombian develops a plan of “persecution and extermination” against migrants in the country.
These declarations of the regime took place after the cowardly assassination of a 12-year-old boy and an older youth in Tibú (Norte de Santander) at the hands, according to the authorities, of dissidents from the Farc.
—Thank you. Tremendous joy, hand Said Soto with familiarity, the first migrant Venezuelan citizen accredited as a beneficiary of the Temporary Statute for the Protection of Migrants, which the National Government issued to solve the situation of 1.8 million Venezuelans residing in Colombia.
(You can also read: 19,000 migrant children crossed the jungle between Colombia and Panama this year to the US)
—I tell you sincerely: this is a key for all of us Venezuelans -Continued Soto, who has been in Colombia for four years, set up a trailer workshop with which he makes a living, and is the father of a girl who is in the neighboring country— This is going to be to pay for insurance, to open a bank account and be legally in this country. I am very happy, very happy and I hope that all Venezuelans will join in this.
“I’m very happy to come to visit you,” Duque told him, reiterating that he now has a complementary legal tool from the international refugee protection regime, which reflects Colombia’s commitment to the protection of human rights. Always have it at hand.
The objective of granting, free of charge, a Temporary Protected Permit (PPT) constitutes an emblematic gesture of solidarity and fraternity of the Colombian government, and the non-criminalization of the irregular entry or stay of persons and respect for the principle of non-refoulement in the matter of refugees.
In the third phase of the process, the delivery of 200,000 people is being prepared, with priority for children.
Currently, the exodus of Venezuelans is the largest in the world and in the context of that crisis, our country is the second largest recipient of migrants after Turkey.