The Brazilian government is preparing to set up new inns for refugees in Roraima state in expectation of an eventual new wave of Venezuelan immigrants, who since last year have been arriving in the thousands to this northern region of the country
"We can't afford to be surprised" by another exodus, said Gen. Eduardo Pazuello, head of the humanitarian operation deployed to help Venezuelans in the border city of Pacaraima and in the Roraima capital of Boa Vista.
Pazuello said the immigration deluge, which has brough some 40,000 Venezuelans to Brazil, has "stabilized" and nothing indicates it will start up again - but even so, two new refuges are being installed, bringing the total number to nine, with the possibility of adding more if required.
However, members of humanitarian organizations working in the area told EFE that hundreds of Venezuelans enter Brazil every day, and that Venezuela's delicate economic, social and political crisis has not been resolved, which can only lead to more and larger floods of immigrants in the future.
"The causes of this exodus have not been dealt with," said the spokesman of a human rights organization who asked to remain anonymous.
Most Venezuelans coming to Roraima find jobs and are able to support themselves, while others settle elsewhere in Brazil, sometimes by taking advantage of a Brazilian government program to move them to other cities.
These projects, however, have not eased the situation in Boa Vista, where authorities estimate that there are at least 6,000 Venezuelans in situations of economic and social "vulnerability."
Another dramatic element of the exodus is the increase in the number of Venezuelan women who have become prostitutes in a miserable Boa Vista slum known as Passarao, which also has the city's highest insecurity rate and is largely occupied by drug-trafficking gangs.
"The worst is that they are women who do it out of necessity, who never prostituted themselves in Venezuela but have had to do it here, which has truly turned them into sex survivors," a nun who works in the area told EFE.