J Balvin Raises Rallying Cry for Colombia-Venezuela Border Crisis

Latinos Are Family
J Balvin in a video for Latinos Somos Familia.

While some U.S.-based Latin artists have been focusing on Donald Trump in the past few weeks, J Balvin -- the artist who started it all by backing out of his Miss USA performance -- has a new social concern in mind.

Balvin (real name Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin) launched a social media campaign titled #Latinossomosfamilia (Latinos We Are Family) to address the current crisis at the Colombia-Venezuela border.

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In the past six days alone, more than 5,000 Colombians have been driven from their homes in Venezuela -- with many of those homes destroyed by the Venezuelan government -- and deported, according to Colombian daily El Tiempo.

The Venezuelan government hasn’t allowed the deported families to go back and pick up their belongings as had been originally promised. As a result, on Aug. 28 Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos scaled up his involvement, asking the Organization of American States to step in to help in the crisis. 

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“The situation we’re living at the border is deplorable,” wrote Balvin, who is Colombian, in a statement. “The treatment our people are receiving is unfair, especially considering we are one people who share the same country. That’s why today I want to raise my voice in support and invite the entire Latin American people to come together for tolerance and brotherhood.”

Balvin is inviting supporters to sign the online petition at latinossomosfamilia.com. Already, high-profile friends like fellow Colombian Maluma have signed on. "As a Latin American artist I believe in unity, tolerance and peace,” Maluma wrote in an Instagram post (translated here from Spanish).“The biggest lesson music has taught me is that it has no borders."