Friday, 28 January 2022

Brazil sends troops after clashes at Venezuela border

Isac Dantes/AFP via Getty Images

 

SAO PAULO: Brazil will send troops to its border with Venezuela on Monday after residents of the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima drove out Venezuelan immigrants from their improvised camps, amid growing regional tensions.

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed the border into Brazil over the past three years as they seek to escape the economic, political and social crisis gripping their country.

The latest show of tensions began early Saturday, hours after a local merchant was robbed and severely beaten in an incident blamed on Venezuelan suspects, in Pacaraima, where an estimated 1,000 immigrants are living on the street.

Dozens of locals then attacked the two main immigrant makeshift camps and burned their belongings, leading Venezuelans to cross the border back into their home country. Shots were fired, stores were shuttered and debris littered the streets.

“It was terrible, they burned the tents and everything that was inside,” said Carol Marcano, a Venezuelan who works in Boa Vista and was on the border returning from Venezuela. “There were shots, they burned rubber tires.”

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