Desperate Venezuelans flee to Brazil, straining border town

As the economic and political turmoil deepens in Venezuela, more and more people are fleeing the country and heading to Brazil. The Dutch TV station NOS filmed those sleeping rough in the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima.

Thousands of Venezuelans have crossed the border in recent months, and a humanitarian crisis is building up.

Many say returning to Venezuela is not an option. “Here they have all kinds of things that are not available in Venezuela. Food, for instance… There’s food,” one woman said.

But the influx is putting an extra strain on this border town, in one of the poorest areas of Brazil.

“A few people came together and they are handing out food. Some bring soup at night. But our village does not have the financial resources to support them. It’s not enough to give them a decent life,” said Mario, Deputy Mayor.

Many of these refugees are in desperate need of medical care. At the local hospital, about 80 percent of patients are Venezuelans, according to Human Rights Watch.

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