Graffiti on the wall of a brothel in Convención in the Catatumbo region, where most women working were Venezuelan exiles. The EPL (Popular Liberation Army) is one of the armed groups operating in the area.© 2019 Human Rights Watch

ARAUCA, Colombia – Colombia has opened its doors to Venezuelans fleeing the government-created human rights and humanitarian crisis next door. But as tens of thousands cross the border in search of relief, many have instead found themselves in the middle of an ongoing armed conflict – where desperation and limited state presence have left them particularly vulnerable to abuses by armed groups.Such is the case in Catatumbo, a border area north…