Venezuelans in Brazil

In a joint mission, Conectas and Missão Paz visit Roraima and Amazonas to monitor the reception of immigrants

08/30/2017 federal police federal prosecutor’s office venezuela

Conectas and Missão Paz embarked on a joint mission on Monday, August 28, to the northern states of Roraima and Amazonas to monitor up-close the reception of Venezuelans who arrive in Brazil fleeing the crisis in their country.

Over the course of this week, representatives from the two organizations will visit Boa Vista, Pacaraima - the main entry point for immigrants since it shares a border with the Venezuela town of Santa Elena de Uairén - and Manaus.

“The goal is to get a closer look at the real situation facing Venezuelans arriving in Brazil and see the joint efforts between our authorities and civil society groups to ensure the proper reception of these people,” said Camila Asano, coordinator of Foreign Policy at Conectas.

The trip includes a series of meetings with local and state authorities, as well as federal agencies such as the Federal Police, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Public Defender’s Office – these last two were responsible for a civil lawsuit that requested an exemption on fees for issuing visas and immigration documents to vulnerable groups and individuals in a state of “economic hardship”.

The organizations will also hold talks with members of international bodies such as IOM (International Organization for Migration), UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) and civil society groups such as staff from the Federal University of Roraima’s Acolher immigration outreach project, the Catholic Church’s Pastoral Universitária program and the Human Rights and Immigration Center.

“We are going to talk to the families of Venezuelan immigrants to understand what their expectations are about Brazil and how Brazilian civil society can help,” explained Letícia Carvalho, advocacy advisor at Missão Paz.

The trip also includes a visit to the shelters in Boa Vista and Manaus, which already hold hundreds of immigrants.