2020 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, 3rd Prize



Nicolò Filippo Rosso

09 October, 2018

People follow a path to enter Colombia illegally, near Villa del Rosario in North Santander, Colombia, one of the busiest regions for border crossings.

A political and socio-economic crisis in Venezuela, from 2016 onwards, led to an increasing outflow of migrants from the country. Venezuelans said they were compelled to leave for reasons of insecurity and violence, lack of access to food, medicine and essential services, and loss of income due to the political situation. Colombia feels the impact of this exodus most keenly. According to the UNHCR, by October 2019 approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans had left the country, of which 1.6 million were in Colombia. Others had moved through Colombia before going on to surrounding countries. Even though Venezuela officially closed its land border with Colombia in February, around 300 clandestine crossing points remained active. More than half of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia lacked regular status, and so had no access to health, education or legal employment. Charity organizations and NGOs helped supply people with medical attention and food, but many ended up in informal settlements or living on the streets.

Early in 2021, the Colombian government granted the refugees a ten-year temporary protection status, giving them access to the national health service, the job market, and other forms of assistance. The story contributed to some NGOs setting up educational and medical facilities in camps they had previously not known about. The photographer said: “Photographs can drive actions, and I photograph with that intention.” 

About the photographer

Nicolò Filippo Rosso

Nicoló Filippo Rosso, born in Italy in 1985, is a freelance photographer living in Bogotá, Colombia.  Rosso’s work focuses on long-term projects in Latin America. S...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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