The meeting takes place after Venezuelan soldiers open fire on a group of civilians on the border with Brazil
Amid reports of violence on Brazil’s border with Venezuela, President Jair Bolsonaro called an emergency meeting in the Planalto Palace to address the crisis in the region.
On Friday morning, Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians trying to help keep Venezuela’s border with Brazil open a day after dictator Nicolas Maduro announced the closure of the gate between the two countries. At least two people died in conflict this Friday.
Maduro‘s decision comes amid an attempt to send humanitarian aid from Brazil and Colombia to the neighboring country with US coordination. The first supplies – food and medicines – arrive this Friday in the border region.
Even with the decision to close the border, the Brazilian government decided to keep the schedule of sending aid to the region.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized by 50 countries (including Brazil) as interim president of Venezuela, has pledged to “provide humanitarian aid to the country from various points on the border, one way or another.“ 23).
Representatives of ten ministries are gathered in the Planalto, in addition to Bolsonaro, the chief of the Armed Forces Joint Staff, Air Lieutenant Brigadier Raul Botelho. The governor of Roraima, Antonio Denarium, participates by videoconference.
The government is sending a weekend committee to Colombia, where the Lima Group will meet on Monday (25) to discuss the situation in Venezuela.
Brazil will be represented by the vice president, General Hamilton Mourao and the chancellor, Ernesto Araujo, who is already in the country.
Created in 2017 in the capital of Peru, the Lima Group is made up of chancellors from 14 countries in the Americas – only Mexico does not recognize Guaido as interim president of Venezuela.
The federal government will maintain a crisis office to monitor the border situation, and Bolsonaro will meet with Mourao on Sunday (24), prior to the boarding of the deputy to Colombia.
The confrontation of this sixth occurred in a town of Kumarakapay, in Venezuela, that is next to a road. An indigenous group tried to stop a military convoy that was heading to the border with Brazil, at one of the points where the Maduro government wants to bar humanitarian aid.
The soldiers entered the village, opened fire on the people, cleared the way and moved on.
Despite the blockade, two Venezuelan ambulances crossed the Brazilian border to take five wounded to a hospital in Roraima.
“At this moment, five Venezuelan patients are being treated at the General Hospital of Roraima, all of whom were injured by a firearm,“ the State Department of Health said in a statement.
After the attack, at least 30 villagers in the vicinity of the village kidnapped three government officials. According to Tamara Suju, a lawyer and defender of human rights, they will only be released by the indigenous people in case the Venezuelan Defense Minister, Padrino Lopez, goes to pick them up personally.
Activists who made the block belong to the indigenous group Pemones, who joined the Venezuelan opposition effort to help get humanitarian aid sent by the US.