The ongoing economic crisis in Venezuela has caused thousands of desperate citizens to attempt to flee to nearby Colombia.

Shocking images show scores of people crossing the Simon Bolivar International Bridge to escape from the political crisis which has resulted in a huge crime wave and a lack of food.

Colombia and Brazil have sent extra soldiers to patrol the border after taking in over half a million refugees in the last six months of 2017.

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, parts have become 'lawless', according to the Daily Mail, with soaring crime rates. Truck drivers are regularly subjected to violence as looters target the vehicles responsible for supplying food around the country, the paper reports.

A report from Reuters claims there were 162 lootings in January - of these, 42 were truck robberies.

Eight people are reported to have died last month due to the lootings.

Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates and truck drivers are not allowed to carry guns to protect themselves, so the ongoing attacks has seen the price of food and transport soar.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Truckers are forming convoys and texting each other to warn of potential danger spots, in an attempt to keep safe while working.

Due to the rising price of food, thousands of Venezuelans are being forced out of their homes - many are arriving in Colombia in need of medical attention, which is adding strain on the country.

Colombia has recently attempted to tighten its borders. Colombia's immigration officials estimate 600,000 Venezuelans are currently in the country, double the number six months ago, and as many are there illegally they're unable to work so are having to sleep in bus shelters or on the streets.

President Juan Manuel Santos called the situation a 'tragedy', adding that Colombia had 'never lived a situation' like this one.

Venezuelans are forced to sleep on the streets of Colombia. Credit: PA
Venezuelans are forced to sleep on the streets of Colombia. Credit: PA

Eduardo Espinel, the leader of a group called Venezuelans in Cucuta told ABC News: "It's a massive exodus and it will continue rising every day."

Source: ABC News; Mail Online

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist at LADbible. Claire graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in journalism. She’s previously worked at Trinity Mirror. Since joining LADbible, Claire has worked on pieces for the UOKM8? mental health campaign, the Yemen crisis, life in the Calais Jungle as well as a profile of a man who is turning himself into a cyborg.

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