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A girl of the Venezuelan Warao tribe washing clothes with her mother outside a shelter in Boa Vista, Brazil, on February 11, 2017. EFE/HRW/CESAR MUÑOZ ACEBES
A girl of the Venezuelan Warao tribe washing clothes with her mother outside a shelter in Boa Vista, Brazil, on February 11, 2017. EFE/HRW/CESAR MUÑOZ ACEBES

5 Times more Venezuelans emigrating to Brazil to escape crisis, HRW reports

 The Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization said in a report Tuesday that since 2014, five times the number of Venezuelans are emigrating to Brazil due to…

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The Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization said in a report Tuesday that since 2014, five times the number of Venezuelans are emigrating to Brazil due to shortages of food and medicine in their own country, an example of how Venezuela's humanitarian crisis is spilling across its borders.

"Brazil is struggling to meet the urgent needs of Venezuelans who are victims of a humanitarian crisis for which the Maduro administration is largely to blame," Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at HRW, said Tuesday.

The Venezuelan government denies that any humanitarian crisis exists and as a result is not addressing it adequately, the reason that "tens of thousands" of Venezuelans are emigrating, thousands of them to Brazil, above all those who cannot afford airline tickets and choose to cross the border into the northern Brazilian state of Roraima.

The number of Venezuelans moving to the next-door nation with the intention of staying there permanently is five times greater since 2014, reaching 7,150 during the first 11 months of 2016, according to official figures obtained by HRW in its field research.

"Many Venezuelans are living in precarious conditions on the streets and in a shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima's capital," the study says.

Nonetheless, the more than 60 Venezuelans interviewed by HRW last February said that "despite the difficult conditions" they're living in, they're "better off in Brazil than in Venezuela."

HRW presented the report Tuesday to the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, while Vivanco asked the governments of Latin America to put the Venezuelan crisis "at the top of the region's foreign policy priorities" because it is "already having an impact outside of Venezuela's borders" and they "will ultimately have to press the Venezuelan government to stop denying the crisis and to take adequate steps to fix the problem."

 

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