Monday, December 24, 2018

Feel the Bern: Desperate women fleeing Venezuela sell hair, breast milk, sex to get by

 
Although the sun has barely risen, this border city with Venezuela is already bursting with chaos.  Thousands upon thousands of Venezuelans pour into Colombia over the crowd cross-country bridge, their faces gaunt, carrying little more than a backpack. Rail-thin women cradle their tiny babies, and beg along the trash-strewn gutters. Teens hawk everything from cigarettes to sweets and water for small change.

The young, the old and the disabled cluster around the lone Western Union office – recently established to deal with the Venezuelan influx – in the hopes of receiving or sending a few dollars to send home. Without passports or work permits, the Venezuelans – many with university degrees or decent jobs in what was once the wealthiest nation in Latin America – are now resorting to whatever it takes to survive..........Their lives have been ripped apart by displacement, starvation, disease, desperation and torment. But now they're in Colombia, where conditions are far from perfect, but are at least safer, and more stable.........Inside Venezuela, health care has all but dissolved. Children are dying of malaria and hepatitis. They’re breaking bones and burning their bodies, having been left unattended while their parents comb the streets for work and food.
 
Suicide rates too have skyrocketed, even among children. Specific numbers are impossible to come by as the government refuses to track or release accurate data, yet Venezuelan children’s rights group CECODAP estimates there has been at least an 18 percent rise in teens taking their own lives over the past year. There are next to no mental health services...........“The biggest concern is now food. 70 percent of people are facing steep food insecurity and acute malnutrition,”.........To Read More...Much More..

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