By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Representatives from Brazil’s Justice Ministry are in the Northern Brazilian state of Roraima this week to assess the situation of the great number Venezuelan immigrants coming over the border in the past few months, due to the chaotic situation in the neighboring Latin American country.
Last week, Roraima’s governor Suely Campos was in Brasilia to talk to Justice Minister, Alexandre de Moraes, about the large influx of Venezuelans coming into Brazil through Roraima’s border to obtain food and medical help.
“We have a problem to be solved together with the Federal Government. Let’s define how to act and help these immigrants arriving from Venezuela, because there is a large flow. We have already identified that about a hundred foreigners pass through into Pacaraima every day,” Campos was quoted as saying by the state press office during a press conference.
“We are working together to develop actions for these immigrants as soon as possible,” added the governor. According to Campos, Pacaraima has been the municipality receiving the greatest number of Venezuelans.
The Ministry of Justice says that the number of asylum applications made by Venezuelans this year already exceeds the combined total for the previous five years. In 2016 alone there were 1,805 requests against 1,096 between 2010 and 2015, shows the data.
According to the Ministry, the representatives this week in Roraima will also try to determine who among those crossing the border can be declared a refugee and those who cannot. “We saw that in the ten months of this year there were more refuge requests than in the past five years.
This is a concrete fact and our proposal is to bring these cases to the attention of Conare (National Committee for Refugees) as soon as possible so that those who are in fact refugees have their situation resolved, as provided by law, ” said the representative of the National Secretariat of Justice and Citizenship, Bernardo de Almeida Laferté, during the press conference.
Laferte expressed the migration due to economic hardships in their country of origin does not necessarily allow that population to obtain refugee status. “The refugee situation is very specific: there needs to be a clear violation of human rights,” he added.