On a bus in the Colombian capital of Bogota last month, knife-wielding men threatened Venezuelan passengers. In Guayaquil, Ecuador, a battle with clubs between local vendors and Venezuelans erupted over sidewalk space. In English-speaking Trinidad, Venezuelans avoid speaking Spanish in public.
Venezuela’s descent into hunger and chaos has strained the region for several years, driving out thousands every month into nearby countries. But now, with the number of Venezuelans in exile reaching 5.4 million, the pandemic’s devastation is increasing the level of hostility toward the newcomers.