Fleeing Venezuela’s Crushing Economic Crisis

The ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela is driving people to leave the country by the hundreds of thousands—often crossing borders on foot—seeking better lives in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and beyond. They are fleeing a nation that now experiences frequent power outages and water shortages, and suffers from a severe lack of food and basic medical supplies. Hyperinflation has become such a burden that new currency was recently issued, at a conversion rate of 100,000 bolivars (old currency) to 1 sovereign bolivar (new). The IMF estimated that Venezuela’s rate of inflation might reach 1,000,000 percent this year. Just this week, several new economic measures will take effect, including a more-than-3,000 percent hike in the minimum wage. The rising numbers of refugees are causing problems in bordering countries as well, with countries like Ecuador and Peru tightening restrictions on immigration. Gathered here: a look inside Venezuela over the past few months, and at some of those who chose to leave their ailing country behind.

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