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Venezuela migration

Ten Venezuelan journalists traveled from Caracas to report on the migratory crisis at the border with Colombia. | Juan Arredondo for Dejusticia

“Cúcuta: Emergency Exit,” A Special Series at the Frontlines

Dejusticia (Colombia) and Provea (Venezuela) brought together ten journalists from Venezuela and three from Colombia to tell, through seven heartbreaking stories of suffering, sacrifice and hope at the border between the two countries.

Follow the journey of ordinary Venezuelans risking it all in search of better lives, through the eyes and lens of these fearless journalists and photographers, in stories woven through words, videos and powerful images.


At least 1.5 million Venezuelans have left their country in the last two years, using Colombia, specifically Cúcuta in the Norte de Santander department, as the primary escape route. Venezuela is experiencing diaspora growth without precedent, caused by hyperinflation that has been worsening since 2016, manifested in symbolic salaries, bankruptcy, hunger and violence.

In May of this year, 13 journalists were invited by Dejusticia and Provea to this border region to describe, through seven stories, what is happening personally for the thousands of families crossing the Simón Bolivar bridge to leave Venezuela.

This multimedia, journalistic special is the result of the workshop “Tools for covering a country in conflict,” which was carried out in Cúcuta in May of 2018 by the human rights organizations Dejusticia (Colombia) and Provea (Venezuela), with the support of the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundation.

The journalists are part of (or contributors to) independent media, the majority digital, dedicated to the defense of the free press in Venezuela: RunRun.​es (Abrahan Moncada and Lorena Meléndez), Correo del Caroní (Fabiola Ferrero and Clavel Rangel), El Pitazo (Yaikel Dorta and Johanna Osorio), NTN24 (Rubén Sevilla and Rafael Hernández) and Crónica Uno (Francisco Bruzco and Carmen Inojosa).

This special was edited by journalists Carolina Gutiérrez Torres, Angélica María Cuevas, coordinators of the Office of Communications at Dejusticia; the editor of El Espectador, Nelson Fredy Padilla; and photographer Juan Arredondo, a contributor to National Geographic and The New York Times, and was reproduced by the participating media outlets in Venezuela.

Over the course of a week in July of this year, the Colombian newspaper, El Espectador published one story per day to their website and in their printed paper. Monday, July 23 was: “The Simón Bolívar Bridge: the Eyewitness of a Crisis,” Tuesday, July 24: “Renouncing Venezuela to Not Go to Bed Hungry,” Wednesday, July 25: “Migrating to Save the Life of a Child,” Thursday, July 26: “Jesus’s Flight,” Friday, July 27: “A Rose Along the Journey,” Saturday, July 28: “The Yukpa Lived in Cúcuta for a Year and We Just Found Out,” and Sunday, July 29: “A Journey Towards Uncertainty.”

Find the Special here.

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