Brazil announced it was taking the measure to "guarantee law and order" as its neighbouring country descends into chaos with hyperinflation rife and food and medicine in short supply.
Brazilian President Michel Temer said that the deterioration of Venezuela threatened peace across the region. On 27 August, he signed an order for soliders to patrol the border in the northern state of Roraima from 29 August to 12 September.
“The problem of Venezuela is no longer one of internal politics. It is a threat to the harmony of the whole continent,” Temer said.
“The migratory wave in Roraima is the result of the terrible living conditions to which the Venezuelan people have been subjected. This is precisely what has led to this tragic situation, that currently affects almost all of South America.”
Venezuela crisis: Brazil to send army to safeguard border https://t.co/SsjDbA6CWZ
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 29, 2018
80% of people in Venezuela are now living in poverty as the country’s economy continues to wither. Many people have been forced to cue for hours for food rations and basic medicines.
The impoverished Brazilian state of Roraima has been beset with gun crime in recent years and now has the highest homicide rate in the country. It has also become the primary entry point for migrants fleeing the chaos of Venezuela.
Bruno Paes Manso of the Center for Violence Studies at the University of Sao Paulo said “There is a clear feeling of the fragility of local institutions to deal with the fear of people who are starting to think the state has no rule of law.
“This leads people to defend themselves … you have this perception: people are arriving from every corner, crime dominates, and homicides multiply in these contexts,” he said.
Brazil's president deploys armed forces to secure border with Venezuela https://t.co/Ngy6PUFDdZ
— Bloomberg (@business) August 28, 2018
Chaotic scenes across Venezuela and in Northern Brazil
There had previously been an attack on Venezuelan immigrants by locals after a local business owner reported being robbed by a migrant group. The attack sent around 1,200 Venezuelans fleeing back into their home country.
Earlier in August, Brazil closed the border to Venezuela before it was reopened on order of a Federal Judge in Brazil’s Supreme Court. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees welcomed the judge’s decision.
In earlier waves of exodus from Venezuela into Brazil, hundreds of people were crossing the border inro Roraima every day and gathering in makeshift shelters.
Under President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has seen widespread street protests, mass emigration, deteriorating relationships with neighbouring countriees and has seen its oil revenues go into freefall. Maduro won the most recent election in May 2018 but there have been doubts cast over the fairness of that contest.
Earlier in August, Venezuela introduced a new currency in a desperate bid to halt spiralling inflation but the new money only led to further confusion and frustration.
Header photo: Efecto Eco