Peru Evaluates Measures To Support Haitian Immigrants

The Peruvian government is evaluating measures to help a number of Haitian immigrants who are stranded in the southern Amazon area of the country after being denied entry into Brazil, according to state news agency Andina.

Foreign Relations minister Rafael Roncagliolo said that many of the Haitians were victims of human traffickers who took advantage of the individuals seeking to flee Haiti following the massive 2010 earthquake.  Most of the refugees are believed to have entered Peru from Ecuador, although no details area available.

“We are evaluating the situation to make decisions, as soon as possible, together with other state entities involved, on the measures of support,” Roncagliolo said.

Earlier this year, reports had said that thousands of Haitians had entered Brazil following a magnitude 7.0 quake that rocked the island country in 2010. The quake caused catastrophic damage to the poor country and led to thousands of deaths.

Brazil, Latin America’s biggest economy and an emerging global player, had lax immigration policies which allowed Haitians to enter the country in order to work in construction and other areas, particularly in the booming southwest on the Peruvian border.

Many of the Haitians entered Brazil through south-eastern Peru. The influx of Haitians to Brazil put a strain on public services in some of the country’s border cities, leading authorities to tighten the border.

As a result, hundreds of Haitians, many left without any money, have been stranded in Peru’s south-eastern jungle region of Madre de Dios.  There are currently 103 Haitians living in government installations in Puerto Maldonado, and some 500 have already crossed over into Brazil over the past two years.

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