SANTIAGO (AP) — Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced Wednesday that his government would step up diplomatic efforts with Bolivia and Venezuela to get them to accept irregular immigrants deported from Chile.

Chile, which faces uncontrolled irregular immigration, reinforced its northern border with Peru and Bolivia at the end of February with a military contingent authorized to check identity, check baggage and even temporarily detain.

“Our priority is to protect the border,” Boric said from Colchane, 1,950 kilometers north of the Chilean capital, a border town where most irregular immigrants arrive from Bolivian territory.

Boric said he ordered Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren to strengthen talks with neighboring countries, especially with Bolivia, a country that does not receive irregular immigrants who arrive in Colchane from Bolivian territory. .

Bolivia, with which Chile has not maintained diplomatic relations since 1978, only receives expelled Bolivians and does not allow the return of citizens of other nationalities who have used its territory to reach Chilean soil.

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