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UNHCR warned that displaced Venezuelan indigenous people are "dangerously exposed" to

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Thousands of Venezuelan indigenous people have been forced to cross the borders to Brazil or Colombia (@FAO_Venezuela)
Thousands of Venezuelan indigenous people have been forced to cross the borders to Brazil or Colombia (@FAO_Venezuela)

Displaced indigenous communities in Venezuela are “dangerously exposed” to the coronavirus pandemic, warned this Tuesday the United Nations (UN).

As indicated by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), indigenous Venezuelans who have crossed borders with neighboring Brazil and Colombia are "at risk", while COVID-19 expands throughout South America.

The agency in turn indicated that the number of suspected and confirmed coronavirus cases within these communities has increased, while It was also reported that the first deaths have already been recorded.

In another passage of the document, he affirmed that almost 5,000 Venezuelan indigenous people are displaced in the territory of Brazil, mainly from the ethnic group Warao

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, but also from the communities Eñepá, Kari'ña, Pemón and Ye’kwana.

"With Covid-19 severely affecting the Amazon region and Brazil becoming a major focus of the pandemic, UNHCR is concerned that many (indigenous) cannot cope (with the crisis) in adequate sanitary conditions ”, warned the agency spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo.

The Indigenous peoples of Venezuela demanded adequate health care to face the pandemic (REUTERS / Christian Veron)
The Indigenous peoples of Venezuela demanded adequate health care to face the pandemic (REUTERS / Christian Veron)

With regard to those who have crossed the border with Colombia, he indicated: “Although their ancestral homes extend in both countries, many of them have not been able to regularize their situation in Colombia, and are undocumented. Currently, some also face the threat of irregular armed groups, which control the areas where they live ”Mantoo added.

He also highlighted that many live in isolated regions, without access to minimal sanitation or drinking water, and that they generally live in overcrowded housing in very precarious housing.

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Days ago, the indigenous peoples of Venezuela released a statement demanding adequate health care to face the pandemic. "We need health security with means that help us with the necessary prevention for indigenous communities."

"In the face of this pandemic we are concerned about the different situations that we suffer: the lack of basic services, electricity, drinking water, food, medical supplies, fuel, river, air and land transport," the text adds.

They also requested international humanitarian aid with medical supplies and personnel, with food, work materials, and others.

Venezuela has been in quarantine for ten weeks (REUTERS / Manaure Quintero)
Venezuela has been in quarantine for ten weeks (REUTERS / Manaure Quintero)

The document was the result of the analysis of the different situations and realities that indigenous peoples are going through, after a discussion of different indigenous peoples and communities from the different regions of Venezuela on May 9.

Venezuela opened its tenth week of quarantine on Monday with 77 cases of COVID-19, which marks a new record since the first case was announced and raises the number of total infections to 618 in the country.

"In the last 24 hours, 77 new cases have been detected," the head of the Presidential Commission for the Prevention, Attention and Control of COVID-19, and vice-president of the Nicolás Maduro regime, Delcy Rodríguez, said on state television. .

However, the interim government of Juan Guaidó has denounced lack of transparency in the information provided by the Chavista regime since the start of the pandemic.

With information from AFP

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