The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), celebrated the reopening of Brazilian borders for the entry of Venezuelan immigrants. In a note released online, the organization says, “Startled by the massive number of immigrants." The state of Roraima had closed its territory, barring those coming from the neighboring country.
In Geneva, UNHCR spokesman William Spindler praised the decision made by the Brazilian Supreme Court to order the reopening of the frontier for Venezuelans. Spindler noted that the Venezuelans came to Brazil in search of safety, and that over 200 Venezuelans could not enter Brazilian territory due to the impasse with the shutting of borders in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima.
Some 32.7 thousand Venezuelans are reported to have come to Brazil and applied for refugee status, whereas 25 thousand have been given a residence permit, according to data from UNHCR.
Spindler pointed out that most Venezuelans are indigenous facing food shortages and harsh survival conditions.
The spokesman mentioned the community leader of Warao, Eligio Tejerina, 33, whose youngest child has caught pneumonia. Terejina has five children and said all were facing famine.
“We decided to come to Brazil because our children were starving,” he said. “They cried out of sheer hunger because food was so scarce.”