At least 1,200 Venezuelan migrants have fled Brazil back into Venezuela following an outburst of xenophobic violence in the town of Pacaraima, Roraime state. The exodus comes just hours after a Brazilian mob attacked a Venezuelan migrant camp in the same town yesterday in response to an alleged assault perpetrated by two Venezuelan migrants against a Brazilian man in the town.
According to El Nacional, the mob swarmed the United Nations camp, burned the belongings of the migrants living there, and forced them out of the premises. Once the migrants had fled, the mob found a bulldozer and destroyed the camp.
The Brazilian army dispersed the attackers afterwards by shooting into the air.
In the video below, the attackers pile the belongings of the migrants. The man recording yells “Fora Venezuela!” [Venezuelans out!]:
Today, Brazilian military forces said that 1,200 Venezuelans left the area in the hours following yesterday’s attack on their camp.
Forced to flee the most catastrophic socio-economic collapse in their country’s history, Venezuelans have few choices to leave the country over land. While the crossings into Colombia are the most developed and traveled, others cross into Brazil. Given the ruggedness of the terrain, the only viable crossing into Venezuela’s southern neighbour takes migrants into Roraima state, through Pacaraima.
Peru Looks to Migration Restrictions in Response to Migrant Influx
The government of Peru is shortening the length of the permanent residence status given to Venezuelan migrants by six months in response to the growing number of Venezuelans entering the country.
With the measure, Venezuelans who enter the country by October 31 and are granted permanent residence status will be allowed to stay in Peru until December 31 of this year. Under the Peruvian government’s previous arrangement, the visa would allow Venezuelans to stay in Peru until June 30 2019.
Minister of the Interior Mauro Medina attempted to explain that the shortening of the permanent visa stay limit for Venezuelans was not motivated by xenophobia, saying:
There’s no tendency to attack [Venezuelans here] or xenophobia, but we also have to think about citizen security, and everyone–even them–has to understand.
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