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In photos: Fleeing violence in Latin America they run into a bureaucratic wall in Spain

Thousands of Latin American migrants, especially from Venezuela, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, applied for asylum in the last year in Spain. Faced with official obstacles, some have sought refuge in churches.
12 Dic 2018 – 12:24 PM EST
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Nancy and her 3-year-old son, from El Salvador, stand in line outside an immigration office in Madrid to request apply in Spain. She and her husband Oscar say they fled their country because of gang violence. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Dozens of people from Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Colombia, among other countries, queue at a Madrid immigration office to request an appointment to apply for asylum in Spain. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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For several weeks, the immigration office in Madrid only gave out 80 daily appointments to submit asylum applications. As a result, families slept on the street, sometimes in the rain, hoping to be first in line for one of the appointments. At 9 a.m. police officers keep order as the first 80 people await their turn. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Zulai Granados and her daughter Oriana, from Venezuela, sleep in the street near the immigration office in Madrid hoping to get a chance to file as asylum application. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Volunteers from the Solidarity Welcome Network and the Self Help House of Aluche (CABA) offer hot coffee to people spending the night queuing outside the Madrid immigration office. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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A mother and child from Colombia await their opportunity to file an asylum application in Madrid. Forced to sleep in the street, they take cover from the rain under a plastic sheet. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Federic and his son Mattias, from Colombia, along with dozens of migrants, walk down Calle Carretas de Madrid towards Parroquia San Carlos Borromeo. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Neighbors from the Vallecas neighborhood in Madrid, bring mattresses to the San Carlos Borromeo parish so that families who want to request asylum in Spain have a place to rest after days sleeping in the street. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Salvadoran, Venezuelan and Colombian families along with their suitcases and belongings, inside the San Carlos Borromeo Parish where they were received by the parish priest Javier Baeza. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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A Venezuelan father looks for clothes in a suitcase with his son, asleep on a mattress in the San Carlos Borromeo parish church. Before seeking refuge at the church this father and son, together with his seven months pregnant wife, spent a week sleeping on the streets of Madrid. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Dozens of neighbors in Entrevías, Madrid attend an outdoor mass with families being given refuge at the San Carlos Borromeo parish church. The church is packed with mattresses and suitcases, so masses are held in a nearby park. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Sandra, a young Colombian mother, and her son Mattias, play inside the San Carlos Borromeo parish chuch while neighbors of the Vallecas neighborhood visit asylum-seeking families. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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Inside the church, pews separate beds to accommodate asylum-seeking families. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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In two weeks, about 100 people were received at the church from countries such as Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia and even Georgia. In this photo, Venezuelan families inside the church. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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After Sunday Mass, migrants eat with local neighbors, homeless people and drugs addicts. The paella was prepared by a neighbor in the Vallecas neighborhood with the help of a Salvadoran woman seeking asylum and a young Moroccan parish volunteer. Crédito: Olmo Calvo
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RELACIONADOS:Immigration

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