Sat. Feb 22nd, 2020

Calm on the border of Brazil with Venezuela after several days of altercations



The city of Pacaraima, the only formal border crossing between Brazil and Venezuela, lived on calm Wednesday after several days of altercations for the rape of a young woman allegedly committed by a man of Venezuelan nationality.

The tension of the last five days in this border town located in the impoverished state of Roraima, in northern Brazil, has disappeared. The situation seems to be pacified, at least for now, as Efe found.

The protests, in which there were some violent incidents with burning objects and road blockades, have also ceased, coinciding with greater supervision by the Federal Police and the Army.

In recent years, Pacaraima has become the gateway for thousands of Venezuelans who have decided to flee the economic, social and political crisis that plagues their country. The migratory flow continues in this corner of the planet.

This Wednesday, the line of vehicles waiting to enter Brazil reached 100 meters, as Efe could see. The Brazilian authorities thoroughly reviewed each of the cars.

But no sign of new incidents in Pacaraima. You could still see on the side of the street some remains of objects calcined by protesters days ago, in which there was a climate of concern.

The demonstrations began Friday night, after the alleged violation of a 15-year-old indigenous student, allegedly committed by a Venezuelan citizen, according to the Folha de Boa Vista newspaper.

In the following days there were shops that decided to close due to the altercations and cuts on the road between Pacaraima and Boa Vista, capital of Roraima, about 220 kilometers away.

The main claim of the protesters is the lack of security in the region, therefore, they require the central government to take measures in this regard.

“The population is fed up with everything that happens on the streets, violence, theft, dirt … it is normal but it does not justify the outbreaks of violence,” Father Jesús de Bobadilla explained this week to Efe, who offers help humanitarian to Venezuelan migrants arriving in Pacaraima.

The vice president of Brazil, Hamilton Mourao, plans to travel to Roraima on Thursday to visit some of the temporary shelters where Venezuelan migrant assistance is received both in Boa Vista and in Pacaraima.

Pacaraima already recorded in 2018 violent incidents when residents of that small town attacked Venezuelan camps and burned their personal belongings.

These protests caused that at least 1,200 of them decided to return to their country and mobilized the Brazilian Government, which decided to reinforce the humanitarian measures that it has already been implementing.

The Government of Brazil has been developing Operation Host for about two years, an initiative that has the support of various international organizations, including UNICEF, and supports Venezuelan migrants arriving in Brazil.

According to the UN, some four million Venezuelans have left their country for other places in the world since late 2015, in one of the largest migratory flows on the planet.

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