Peruvian police prevent about 80 immigrants detained in Akko from crossing the border | acre

A group of about 80 immigrants arrived in the municipality of Asis-Brazil in the Acre hinterland last Sunday (20) and were not allowed to cross over to the Peruvian side. A police barrier on the Integration Bridge connecting the two countries keeps the border closed.

According to Assis Brasil Social Assistance Secretary Quedinea Correia, a group of men, women and children, mostly Haitians and Africans, approached the bridge and, having learned that they could not enter the neighboring country, returned. to the city of Acre and stays in hotels.

In addition to this group, a total of 25 immigrants live in the city hall’s transit house, most of them Venezuelans.

“Everything was very peaceful, very peaceful, and they returned to the hotels. Here we see groups of immigrants on the streets of the city, they are scattered around the hotels. On this route they try to get out of the country. Even though we are not in a shelter here at City Hall, we are available when they need something, we provide assistance,” the secretary said.

In February, there were more than 300 immigrants on the Integration Bridge connecting Assis-Brazil and Inyapari in Peru. At that time, there were over 600 immigrants in the city of Acre.

A shelter established in Assis, Brazil, currently hosts 25 immigrants – Photo: Personal archive

Since it is located on the border between Brazil and Peru, the municipality of Asis-Brazil continues to register a significant migration flow. The secretary stated that the groups had found alternative routes to enter Peru even with the border closed and were therefore no longer being held in the city’s hideout.

Traffic in the city is both immigrants arriving via Peru to Brazilian cities and those who want to leave Brazil and find alternative routes.

Since the Integration Bridge that connects Assis-Brazil to Peru is closed, many can cross it by boat and then pay the so-called coyotes to continue their journey through Peru before reaching other countries.

Migration continues to be intense in the city of Acre’s hinterland — Photo: Arquivo/City Hall

Reluctance to accept immigrants

In an interview with CBN’s Rio Branco Public Audience, federal public defender Mateus Nascimento assessed government policies targeting immigrants in Brazil and strongly criticized the federal government’s handling of the issue.

The defender recalled that the Brazilian Constitution establishes a number of fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of speech, the right to work and others, and stated that immigrants have the same rights.

“My perception as a federal public defender is that public authorities in general lack the articulation of the so-called national migration policy, which defines the roles of the federal government, state government, municipalities in this work. The government is very down on this issue of national migration policy in general. There is a great vulnerability of these people and it is important that the public authorities in general be trained, understand that for this it is necessary to create a state policy,” he said.

Nascimento also recalled the types of immigration. “Basically, there are two types of immigration, voluntary immigration and forced immigration. A volunteer is, for example, a person who is going on an exchange program, gets a diploma, goes to work, has medical care. forced immigrants that some situation in their country of origin forces them to leave, political, ethnic, religious persecution, or actually fleeing from hunger.”

In February of this year, more than 600 immigrants lived in the city of Asis, Brazil – Photo: Personal archive

The situation of immigrants in the state is also closely monitored by the Pastoral do Migrante das Cáritas Diocesana. This group deals with the reception, support and delivery of products for these foreigners.

Aurinete Brazil, vice coordinator of the pastoral service, explains that the migration flow was much more intense among people who entered through the Acre border with Peru and Bolivia into Brazilian cities such as Sao Paulo, Florianopolis and Porto Alegre. Every day, an average of 50 to 100 immigrants arrive in the state of Acre.

Currently pastoral care for 104 migrant families living in Rio Branco who are not in either of the two government-run shelters in the capital, either the state-supported Centro Dia or the city-funded Rui Lino shelter.

According to Aurinete, the pastoral is not only engaged in the delivery of food and hygiene kits, but also manages to help many foreigners resolve issues with documents and even with vacancies both in Acre and in contact with leaders from other states.

“We understand that it is necessary that everyone, both society and public bodies, non-governmental organizations, good people who need to unite in this cyrande, can do what we say, within the four verbs that guide us. asked as a church, how people welcome, protect, promote and integrate migrants and refugees,” Aurinete said.

National Migrant Week

The Deputy Coordinator recalled the National Migrant Week. The next June 25th is Immigrant Day.

“Every year from 13 to 20 June, National Migrant Week is held. And June 20 is dedicated to refugees, so we have holidays and we receive these donations. We accompanied 104 families, most of them from Venezuela, we also have Cubans. Our role as a church is also to encourage the state to turn politics to the service of the people. Thus, by guaranteeing these rights, we give directions, we formulate them with the secretariats, that is, we are pursuing a policy.”

In February, immigrants camped on the bridge connecting Acre to Peru — Photo: Raylanderson Frota/Personal file

Things began to heat up for immigrants in rural Acre on February 14, when they left their shelters and concentrated on the Integration Bridge. On the 16th, the foreigners clashed with the Peruvian police and invaded the city of Iñapari on the Peruvian side of the border. After the collision, the group was sent back to Assis, Brazil.

Foreigners tried to leave Brazil using Akko as a route. The bridge is already occupied by at least 300 immigrants, most of them Haitians. More than 130 trucks were detained from both the Brazilian and Peruvian sides, and damage was estimated at more than 600,000 reais.

Immigrants detained in AC without the possibility of passage to Peru came out to protest in February this year.

The migration crisis led to the visit of the national secretary of social assistance of the Ministry of Citizenship, Miguel Angelo Gómez, who was in Assis, Brazil on March 19, to review the situation.

Gomes met with the governor of the province of Madre de Dios, Luis Guillermo Hidalgo Okimura, and the mayor of Inyapari, Abraao Cardoso. During the conversation, according to the Akko government agency, the Peruvian authorities said that the country is considering opening the border for the passage of immigrants.

It was then that the Union demanded the return of the immigrants who had camped on the bridge, and in early March, the Federal Court granted this request. Since then, the number of immigrants in the city in the Acre hinterland has dropped significantly, and the city hall has deactivated shelters set up in schools. To receive immigrants arriving in the municipality, a new shelter for 50 people was installed.

There are two situations that have led to an increase in the number of immigrants in the city of Asis, Brazil; firstly, immigrants who entered Brazil between 2010 and 2016 in search of a better life and, due to the pandemic crisis, tried to leave the country and go to Mexico, Canada, the United States and other countries.

Secondly, Peru, even by closing the passage for the entry of immigrants, allows them to go to the Brazilian side, therefore it is a gateway for Venezuelans who are looking for the best in the Brazilian states.

Some of the immigrants stranded in Acre are also trying an alternative route to get to Bolivia and on from there.

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