Omar de Dios García, coordinator of FundaRedes in Falcón State, denounced that 64% of young professionals and some without even finishing high school are who dare the adventure of leaving by sea to flee the complex humanitarian emergency in Venezuela, risking their lives in unsafe boats and exposed to the action of human trafficking networks.
Mr. García stressed that Falcón State has become a free port for clandestine sailings to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. Entire families from the municipalities of the Falconian coast (Piritu, Tocópero, Colina, Zamora, Silva) have decided to leave in search of quality of life without measuring the risks they face, among the most serious, the possibility of falling into “the hands of criminal mafias run by irregular armed groups that operate in the area.”
Similarly, the FundaRedes spokesperson explained that “in Falcón there is record of several vessels that have set sail from the Venezuelan coast and have left an alarming balance of disappeared people, with at least 56 victims. In most cases it is young people who decide to leave because our state does not offer them opportunities compared to the islands. The youth live a drama on Venezuelan land, but their dreams sink into the sea for reasons that the government in power has not been able to clarify.”
He also detailed that among the events with the greatest relevance in the state are: the disappearances of 34 Falconians in June 2019; and on March 17th, 2020, with 22 citizens aboard a boat called “La Encontrada”.
“Of the 34 people who disappeared in June 2019, 70% were young, and of the 22 who disappeared from the Tiraya case in March 2020, 52% are young. But in February was registered the disappearance of a young family man, supposedly after having arrived on the island of Aruba with 13 other Falconians,” García explained.
For the coordinator of FundaRedes, it is worrying that the coastal areas have become the zones with the highest level of informality and secrecy. “Young people are captured through deceptive job offers that result in possible deportation, shipwreck, disappearances or even death,” warned Omar de Dio García.
Furthermore, he assured that FundaRedes will continue with the work of documenting each of these cases, to accompany the victims before national and international organizations where these cases can be reported in search of answers.