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Brazil Forces Sent to Venezuela Border After Migrant Clashes

Brazil Forces Sent to Venezuela Border After Migrant ClashesBrazil Forces Sent to Venezuela Border After Migrant Clashes

Brazil’s President Michel Temer called an emergency meeting of key ministers on Sunday after ordering troops to the border with Venezuela as regional tensions build over the exodus from its crisis-hit neighbor.

The move comes after residents in the border town of Pacaraima clashed violently with Venezuelan migrants, driving them out of makeshift camps, AFP reported.

Temer met at his presidential palace in Brasilia with key ministers, including those of defense, public security and foreign affairs to discuss Brazil’s response to the crisis.

The situation in Pacaraima, on the opposite side of the border to the Venezuelan town of Santa Elena de Uairen, was calm following Saturday’s violence, in large part because almost all the Venezuelans had been forced out.

“More than 1,200 Venezuelan migrants returned to Venezuela,” after Saturday’s violence, a spokesman for a Brazilian migration task force told AFP.

On average, some 500 Venezuelans cross daily into Brazil but on Sunday, the “flow was much lower than the previous days,” the spokesman said.

“The city looks deserted today, it’s very quiet because police reinforcements have arrived and the markets are reopening,” said a local in the town of around 12,000, who did not wish to be identified.

The public security ministry announced it was sending a contingent of 120 troops as well as health specialists to join teams in the area on Monday.

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. Caracas was set to roll out radical new measures on Monday to curb runaway inflation, including issuing new banknotes.

 

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