Brazil Sending Troops to Its Border With Venezuela

Brazil Sending Troops to Its Border With Venezuela

Venezuelan children receive bread by a man at a bus terminal after being expelled from Pacaraima.

Brazil's government has not ruled out closing its border with Venezuela at Pacaraima, in Roraima state, but sees obstacles to doing so because of worldwide treaties it has signed, Political Affairs Minister Carlos Marun said on Monday. He suffered head injuries and was taken to hospital unconscious but was reported to be out of danger, said Castro, who is also head of the state's police force.

Police said that to escape the violence, hundreds of immigrants crossed the border back into Venezuela.

"The state of Roraima does not have the conditions to shelter all the immigrants", he said. A foreign ministry statement said the violence was fueled by xenophobia.

Pacaraima, in the northern jungle state of Roraima, is a major border crossing with Venezuela, where economic and political turmoil has driven tens of thousands to cross into Brazil over the past few years. The influx has overwhelmed the state's social services and brought a rise in crime, prostitution and disease, and has sparked incidents of xenophobia, Brazilian government officials say.

In Pacaraima on Saturday, several migrant encampments were attacked by angry residents following reports that a local restaurant owner had been badly beaten by Venezuelans.

Military officers patrol as Venezuelan women walk towards Santa Elena to sleep, after checking their passports or identity cards at the Pacaraima border control, Roraima state, Brazil August 19, 2018.

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"The people here are up in arms".

"It was awful, they burned the tents and everything that was inside", said Carol Marcano, a Venezuelan.

The Brazilian Public Security Ministry said it would deploy soldiers of the elite National Force to Pacaraima on Monday to maintain order, in addition to forces already on the ground.

Tensions are rising in Latin America over migration triggered by the crises in Venezuela and in Nicaragua, where President Daniel Ortega has led a brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters. Maduro argues that he is the victim of a Washington-led "economic war" created to sabotage his administration through sanctions and price-gouging.

What happened on the Brazilian border?

"The only people responsible for this tragedy are Maduro and his gang", tweeted Venezuelan opposition politician Ismael Garcia about the flare-up in Brazil.

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