Spanish – Colombian authorities are on high alert for the significant increase in applications for Colombian citizenship by Venezuelan citizens. According to government intelligence, this may be a plan by the Nicolás Maduro regime to alter the 2022 elections in Colombia.
The investigative unit of the newspaper El Tiempo reported that there is a strategy to destabilize the elections, which consists of massively registering Venezuelans as Colombian citizens, according to a government source. This is in addition to the increase in original Colombian identity cards issued fraudulently to all types of people.
In an interview with RCN News, the national registrar, Alexander Vega, expressed: “We have detected that there may be irregularities of foreign citizens, in this case, those of Venezuelan nationality, who want to impact the electoral contest in 2022.”
From 2014 to the beginning of September 2020, 568,825 Venezuelans have registered in Colombia. This figure could be considered normal, knowing the suffering of this population under 21st-century socialism. However, Migration Colombia, the Prosecutor’s Office, and the Registry found that many of those who obtained the identity cards returned to Venezuela.
The situation became more suspicious when, after 50 audits, the Colombian Judicial Immigration Police and the Registry discovered that a group of officials, together with private individuals, were processing identity documents in an irregular manner.
According to the registrar, Alexander Vega, they were doing this with two objectives: to migrate to other countries and to influence the presidential elections of 2022.
The government’s strategy
Of the 568,825 registered Venezuelans, 379,334 are already eligible to vote in Colombia. According to El Tiempo, the Registry registered 22,147 Venezuelans in 2014; 41,530 in 2015, 66,966 in 2016 and nearly 94,000 in 2017.
In 2018, the figure shot up to 159,414 records and remained above 140,000 in 2019, when the exact figure was 142,208. In 2020, despite the pandemic, 42,586 cases were reported.
The Registry cleared 1609 fraudulent records from 2018 to date and continues to work on another 3000 cases of fraud.
El Tiempo was also able to establish that meetings are already being held by the Presidency with the registrar, Alexánder Vega, the general prosecutor, Francisco Barbosa, the director of Immigration Colombia, Juan Francisco Espinosa, the director of the Police, General Óscar Atehortúa, and intelligence sources to respond in time to these threats.
According to data from El Tiempo, it is believed that for a registration kit, identity card, passport, and visa, they may be asking for between 50 and 100 million pesos.