In a speech on Tuesday, August 28, President Michael Temer announced he would send the military to the Venezuelan border for two weeks. A decree signed on Tuesday will deploy soldiers to the northern state of Roraima, where they will have police powers on the border and along federal highways. The decree is in effect from Wednesday, August 29, until September 12.
Temer also stated Tuesday that he is considering limiting the number of entering Venezuelans across the border. Currently, there are approximately 700 to 800 Venezuelans who cross the border each day; authorities are discussing drawing a cap at 100 to 200 per day. Further details or specifics have not been announced as of Wednesday evening (local time).
Roraima is a major crossing point for Venezuelans fleeing their country's political and economic turmoil. According to state officials, more than 500 Venezuelans cross into Roraima each day, with many staying because they lack the funds to continue traveling into the country. The influx of migrants has increased political pressure on the state and federal government, as have the release of crime statistics for January to June 2018. The recently-published data indicate Roraima has the highest murder rate with 27.7 homicides per 100,000 people.
Venezuela is experiencing a political and economic crisis that has driven many Venezuelans to flee to neighboring countries, primarily Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. Around 1 million Venezuelans are living in Colombia and more than 400,000 are in Peru. The IMF estimates that by the end of 2018, the Venezuelan economy will shrink by 15 percent and inflation in the country could reach 1 million percent. Venezuelans face shortages of food, medicine, gasoline, and other basic necessities, as well as extreme rates of violent crime, social unrest, and an ongoing political crisis.
Individuals in or traveling to Brazil, particularly Roraima, should monitor developments, anticipate an increased security presence, avoid any protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to instructions and documentation requirements issued by local and federal authorities.
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