Organisations repudiate violent attacks on venezuelans in Roraima

In a letter, organisations stress the importance of reception and reject xenophobic discourse.

Venezuelans await a place in refugee shelters in Boa Vista. Venezuelans await a place in refugee shelters in Boa Vista.

Last Saturday, 18th, Venezuelan refugees in provisional camps in Pacaraima (RR), were the subject of a wave of violent surprise attacks perpetrated by the local population. The act appears to be in response to a robbery committed on the previous day, in which Venezuelans are suspected to have participated. Today, over 40 organisations published a joint note of repudiation.

The acts of aggression led to refugees fleeing en masse, who given their vulnerable situation, put themselves at risk by crossing the border back into Venezuela, in an attempt to escape the attacks. The organisations hold the local government responsible for spreading discourse of a xenophobic nature which has inflamed the population, who are resentful about the fragility of public services because of the lack of management in the face of the high demand caused by the influx of migrants.

“Authorities at different levels of the Federation and the three Powers that disseminate discrimination and resort to populist, unconstitutional measures like closing the border or quotas for migrants, are acting irresponsibly. Deplorable episodes such as the one this weekend are inspired by xenophobic discourse and measures taken by public authorities.” Say the organisations who undersign the letter.

The signatories also hold that the solution to the migration issue in Roraima requires implementation of “local integration measures in Roraima by means of reinforcement of public services and interiorization [which] should be a priority of the Federal Government”.

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