Military takes control in attempt to defuse tension as angry locals storm camps set up by thousands fleeing poverty

Fears and doubts continue to swirl in Brazil days after President Michel Temer put the army in charge of highways and the Venezuelan border as his government grapples with an escalating migrant crisis and rising tensions. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing a collapsing economy, hunger and skyrocketing inflation have entered the country.

Temer’s move last Tuesday came weeks after a judge temporarily closed the border in the state of Roraima and 10 days after demonstrators in the town of Pacaraima – worst hit by the crisis – trashed migrants’ camps and torched their possessions, causing more than a thousand to flee back across the border. But the state governor called the army presence “insufficient”, critics described it as a “Band-Aid” and some Venezuelans in the town said they still feared further attacks.

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