Brazilian Troops Protect Venezuelan Immigrants From Community Attack
Brazil has sent troops to its Northern border to protect Venezuelan immigrants who were attacked by residents of the border towns forcing many of them to flee back into Venezuela in their hundreds.
The Ministry of Public Security informed reporters that although soldiers were already stationed at the border towns, it would send an addition 60 soldiers to Roraima on Monday, to reinforce them.
Dozens of Brazilians had attacked makeshift immigrant camps in the town of Pacaraima on Saturday after a local merchant was stabbed, badly beaten and robbed in an assault which the town’s residents blamed on Venezuelan immigrants.
Police sources say the town’s residents had started with a peaceful demonstration but violence flared up when the residents threw stones at the migrants and set fire to their property. The intensity of the violence drove hundreds of immigrants back into Venezuela to escape being killed.
One of the Venezuelan immigrants who witnessed the violence said, “It was terrible, they burned the tents and everything that was inside. There were shots, they burned rubber tyres.”
She further revealed that several Venezuelans had reacted to the attack by destroying a car with a Brazilian license plate.
A military source also revealed that three Brazilians were injured in the violence while there was no information regarding casualties on the side of the Venezuelan immigrants.
The United Nations report that around 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled their country with most of them migrating to Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru. The latest violence is an offshoot of the migration crisis in Latin America triggered by the failure of the Venezuelan economy.
The UN also reported that about 1.3 million of those who fled were suffering from malnourishment, as Venezuela is suffering from an acute food shortage.
Ecuador recently revealed new restrictions on Venezuelans coming into the country insisting that they must possess a valid international passport before entering the country.
Prior to this time, Venezuelans only needed their National ID cards to enter into Ecuador.