Venezuelans cross into Colombia to buy food
Thousands of people have crossed to Colombia after Venezuela opened their common border to allow its people to buy food and medicine, officials say.
The frontier, closed by Venezuela last August as part of a crime crackdown, was to open for 12 hours.
Venezuela is going through a deep economic crisis and many say they struggle to feed their families.
Last week, about 500 Venezuelan women broke through the border controls in search of food.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the border closure because, he said, the area had been infiltrated by Colombian paramilitaries and gangs.
The measure also prevents subsidised goods from being smuggled from Venezuela into Colombia.
Some 35,000 people crossed the border between San Antonio del Tachira, in Venezuela, and Cucuta, in Colombia, a Colombian official told the BBC.
Supermarkets were crowded with Venezuelans buying basic supplies such as rice, oil, flour and sugar, which are expensive in their country because of the shortages.
Gloria Archila was all smiles. “They had everything,” she said, comparing the situation here with the empty shelves in markets back home.
Everyone seemed to have a story like this – a mother who was looking for medicine for her daughter, another who described being “happy to see so much food together”.
They complained about how devaluated their Venezuelan bolivar was, limiting their purchase power. They also found goods smuggled from Venezuela being resold here. But, by and large, as they returned home in packed buses, they were triumphant – and with full bags.
shit is getting out of control in venezuela..when people cant eat they react..quickly and violently..its bubbling and it might boil over..
“Supermarkets were crowded with Venezuelans buying basic supplies such as rice, oil, flour and sugar, which are expensive in their country because of the shortages.”