By Edwin Urdaneta.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.
Yuseli Inestroza, 45 years, a Venezuelan from Zulia, died while trying to enter Chile illegally after suffering an inhuman trek on foot from Bolivia. She was traveling to see her children who are living in the Chilean capital.
Almost 6 million Venezuelans have left the oil-rich nation since Nicolas Maduro first took over in 2013. In the process, some of them tragically dying at sea, or murdered by coyotes on a dodgy trail or from plain exhaustion all over the continent.
Chilean authorities reported on Sunday night, November 1, that Yuseli -who was traveling from Maracaibo, capital of Zulia, together with a sister and a neighbor- was trying to cross the Bolivian-Chile border at Colchane, a zone where hundreds of migrants pass daily to enter Chile.
According to the Meganoticias website, quoting a report by the Chilean police, the sister of Yuselis notified police officials that her sister had fainted out. The region is a desert, high heat during the day time but very cold at night, and dehydration and hypothermia could become serious problems.
Inestroza collapsed in Pisiga Carpa Vieja, 200 meters away from where a “large number of Venezuelans” were trying to cross through informal passages. She had, allegedly, a heart attack. The news media 24 Noticias reported that his death was due to a decompensation, an imbalance brought about by the extreme conditions in the region, especially for a 45-year-old woman traveling hundreds of kilometers on foot.
The Coroner determined death by natural causes, as quoted by the media. The family of Yuseli told El Pitazo Monday, November 2, that they were traveling from the Chilean city of Santiago to the border to retrieve her body. The car journey from Colchane to Santiago can take up to 24 hours by car, said the son-in-law of Yuselis, in the state of Zulia.
Inestroza was also the mother-in-law of Ricardo Araujo Parra, 24, who was murdered on September 27 in Santiago city. After the murder of Ricardo, Yuseli told her son and daughter living in Santiago – Arielis Espitia and Julio Guerrero- that she was traveling there to be with them.
“For the Inestroza family, it has been devastating that their children were not able to see their mother,” said the source. Yuseli was from the town of La Fortuna, in the municipality of Colon, in Zulia.