Ismar Tobar, 31, surrounded by her family and suitcases, waiting for transport into Cucuta city by the border [Steven Grattan/Al Jazeera]

Cucuta, Colombia – For months, Ismar Tobar had considered leaving Venezuela with her family, but they’d put it off. When the country went dark on Thursday, it “was the last straw”, she said.

Tobar, along with six members of her family and hundreds of other Venezuelans entered Colombia through armed-group controlled informal crossings on Monday. The official borders are closed for most. Some Venezuelans, like Tobar and her family, are headed to neighbouring countries; others are buying food

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