By Lorena Bornacelly.
Hundreds of Venezuelans walking from different zones try to reach the border with Colombia through the Venezuelan Tachira state. In the municipality of Libertad, there is a watering and assistance point improvised by the community, where one of the volunteers told of a mother of three girls trying to give away a baby girl of 11 months, the night of Friday, October 16.
Some 5.5 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2013, and the trend looks like it’s accelerating, as Venezuela, Colombia, and other countries relax Coronavirus quarantine restrictions.
For security reasons, the aid worker preferred to keep his identity confidential. However, the man told El Pitazo how a mother of approximately 30, who was walking with her three daughters, tried to give the youngest one, who was 11 months old, away.
“Seeing the situation she was living, because she was going alone to Colombia with her girls, said that she was not going to meet anyone and took the decision to give me the girl. A baby girl of 11 months. Although the baby was healthy and everything, I told her no, that I could not receive her because it was a legal problem. Even after they found out in the village everyone was for it, but what is the problem? That she is the mother and then we would have problems ourselves with the authorities,” explained the man who volunteers to help the walkers.
According to the man, the woman must have been depressed because from the moment she arrived until the moment she left, she did not stop crying. He didn’t ask her age or state of origin and just concentrated on trying to explain the dangers of giving the little girl, especially at the border.
“The girl was very depressed. I tried to tell her what could happen to that little girl there in Colombia, that the baby could end with people who don’t have a good heart, that could take her organs away. I explained to her all the risks, and she started crying even more and insisting that I should keep the baby. We understand the situation, especially since she was very depressed, but it is unfortunate,” he said.
The woman was walking with her 11-month-old baby and two girls, ages 2 and 4. She arrived in Capacho, an area of the municipality of Libertad, to rest in an aid station where the community offers hydration, clothing, food, and medicine to those who are walking to the border and cross over into Colombia.
The man who spoke with reporters said he regretted the situation. Although the girl continued the journey with her children, he feared that, eventually, there would be those who would receive the girl. Although he would have liked to help her, he feared legal problems, as well as financial ones, because he does not have a large income to support a baby girl.
Similar situations have arisen elsewhere near the border. “Some parents with two girls were walking and came to sleep on a support station. Around 4:00 am, while the girls were sleeping, they got up, packed their things, and they were getting ready to leave her daughters. Another of the walkers (as migrants trying to reach Colombia on foot are known) realized the plan and began to whistle, and the commotion started. Between tears, both said that they had no way to feed the little girls for the rest of the journey. We are helping, but we are also living in a crisis. We can’t keep all the children they want to give away,” he said.