RIOHACHA, Colombia — The U.N estimates there will be 5.3 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela by 2020 — and one woman has devoted the past year to burying those who died too poor to afford a funeral.
Sonia Bermúdez lives in the Colombian town of Riohacha, 60 miles from the border with Venezuela. There, she's run a local cemetery called "People Like Us" since late 2017.
"I see that everyone, even the U.N., is providing help. They are worried about health care, food supply, and dealing with the migrants’ basic needs," she told VICE News. "But they’re not thinking about death."
Three million Venezuelans have fled the country so far, and a third have moved to neighboring Colombia. Many of the migrants can’t afford to pay for a place to sleep — and some die without enough money to cover the cost of a burial.
“God says that we all deserve to die with dignity. So, it's very important for me that human beings have a decent burial,” Bermúdez said.
This segment originally aired January 10, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.