iMMAP Report: Tracking Venezuelan Refugee, Migrant, and Returnee Populations in Colombia through Facebook

The aim of this report is to compare the situation of the first quarter of 2019 with that of same period in 2020, in order to observe changes in the connections of refugees, migrants and returnees originating from Venezuela in Colombia.

Venezuelans entering Colombia

For refugees and migrants from Venezuela who have left their country and now live in Colombia, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has exacerbated their already difficult situation. The extension of Mandatory Isolation measures in decreed by the Colombian Government has left them with very few if any means to earn a living and in a greater need for support to prevent illness and survive the emergency.

iMMAP presents a document where it analyzes the variation of Facebook connections by comparing the first quarter of 2019 and 2020 and proposes some hypotheses about the impact of COVID-19 on the behavior and possible movements of this population.

The analysis of the connections to Facebook is only an approximation to reality. These data do not constitute a population registry or census as the data refers to Facebook accounts that were created in Venezuela and later appeared active in Colombian territory. Nonetheless, after various analyses and comparisons with official sources such as reports from Migracion Colombia, the Large Integrated Household Survey, and the 2018 National Census; we have observed a great consistency and similarity of the data regarding the distribution of the refugee, migrant and returnee populations.