Refugees from Venezuela continue to arrive in Brazil despite closed border – TV

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© AP Photo/Fernando Llano

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 10. /TASS/ Refugees from Venezuela are finding new ways to come to Brazil despite the ban issued by Caracas against passing the land border between the states, the TV channel Globo reported on Sunday.

There is a well-orchestrated network of illegal routes through which Venezuelans get to the Brazilian state of Roraima in the north of the country, it said. They go there by cars and regular buses that return without passengers, the TV channel said.

“I came here with my wife and son as it is impossible to live in Venezuela. Everything is lacking, from food down to diapers, and things that can be bought cost too much,” Globo quoted a refugee, Jose Miguel, as saying. He said that he first came to Brazil alone and then 10 days later he came back to take his family. According to the TV channel, illegal transportation costs up to 50 reals (about $13) for a 15-minute drive between Venezuela’s Santa Elena and Brazil’s Pacaraima.

Those who do not have money have to go by foot along tracks, Globo reported. Some of the migrants complain of blackmailing on the part of border guards. Brazil’s military on the other side of the border built up the patrolling of areas with unofficial traffic routes and examinations of all arriving vehicles, migrants told journalists.

On February 20, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared the full closure of the land border with Brazil, and the next day Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez declared the temporary closure of three bridges that link the republic’s territory with Colombia. This decision was made after the Venezuelan opposition had declared the intention to deliver humanitarian aid from Brazil to Colombia. Venezuela’s government insists that help may be provided only under international law and is not going to let the cargoes gathered by the opposition pass through the border.

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