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LATIN AMERICA | 04-03-2022 00:54

Hundreds of Latin Americans evacuated from Ukraine

Several hundred citizens leave war-ravaged nation in emergency operations, as governments across the region pool resources to assist evacuation of nationals.

Several hundred citizens from countries across Latin America have been evacuated from Ukraine since Russia invaded the nation, according to diplomatic officials.

Others are still waiting for assistance, some have decided to stay to brave out the conflict if possible, while others have moved out of the war zone independently, according to governments in the region.  

Latin Americans living in Ukraine at the outbreak of the war have been evacuated by their governments by land and air, with Foreign Ministries and embassies in Kyiv working together  to speed up efforts. 

Some countries, such as Chile and Uruguay, do not have physical diplomatic representation in Ukraine, so they requested assistance from their outposts in neighbouring countries, such as Poland and Romania.

Others, such as Argentina, Brazil and Peru, set up special operations using official vehicles and military aircraft to transport their citizens out of the warzone, allowing foreign nationals to join them where space is available. 

 

Brazil 

There were about 500 Brazilians in Ukraine at the outbreak of the conflict, according to Brasilia. About 80 have left the country, mostly through Poland and Romania, with the help of embassy transport vehicles, while another 100 remain on Ukrainian soil. Last Sunday, 39 people – 37 Brazilians and two Uruguayans – arrived at the Brazilian Embassy in Bucharest seeking assistance, including footballers playing for top Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk and their families.

 

Argentina 

A total of 83 Argentines officially live in Ukraine and another 20 were temporarily in the country at the start of the Russian invasion, said the Foreign Ministry this week. Argentina’s Embassy in Kyiv worked with countries across the region on a joint evacuation plan.

 

Chile

A total of 49 Chileans and their families have formal residency in Ukraine, though they are registered at the Chilean consulate in Poland because the country has no Embassy in Kyiv. Acting Foreign Minister Carolina Valdivia, offered evacuation "by land transport" across the border to Poland for citizens, with five Chileans taking up that route. President Sebastián Piñera said nine other Chileans were near the Polish border and in contact with the government.

 

Mexico

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that a Mexican Air Force plane arrived in Romania last Monday to evacuate Mexicans living in Ukraine. According to information from the Foreign Ministry there were 225 Mexicans registered, along with their families, before the invasion. A first group of 32 individuals, including Ukrainian relatives, left Kyiv for the border a fortnight ago. Last week, an additional 22 people left for Romania.

 

Colombia 

There are 222 Colombians in Ukraine and as of last Sunday, 76 had left the country, according to the Foreign Ministry in Bogotá. Via its embassy in Poland, the Colombian government said that those needing assistance had been transferred to shelters.

 

Peru

A total 320 Peruvians are living in Ukraine and at least 196 have been evacuated via Poland, where a Peruvian Air Force plane was waiting to take citizens to Lima. Peruvians and their children born on Ukrainian soil without passports were given safe passage, said the government.

 

Uruguay

The nine Uruguayans officially registered in Ukraine have already left the country via Poland and Moldova (seven crossed the border last Sunday and the remaining two on Monday), although the government has not ruled out the possibility that more may seek assistance.

 

Central America

The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry reported that 10 Guatemalans were living in Ukraine yet only one had requested evacuation. Nicaragua reported that 19 of its citizens had been living in Ukraine for years, many of them naturalised citizens, and that they are investigating the situation of another 28 people who have legal resident status. Costa Rica has established contact with four family groups, totalling 15 people. 

 

– TIMES/PERFIL/AFP

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