February 18th, Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public Security authorized public security forces to blockade the border between Brazil and Peru in the northwestern state of Acre to restrict Haitian refugees from entering Brazil from Peru.
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security announced on the same day that the duration of the blockade order was 60 days, at which time it may be extended as appropriate.
It is reported that the public security forces will be mainly deployed in the city of Assis Brazil, a city bordering Peru in the state of Acre. This is the main passageway for Haitian refugees to enter Brazil from Peru.
As the state of Acre is currently in a period of high incidence of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and dengue fever, the state’s health care system is almost collapsed.
On the 16th, the state of state of emergency was declared in the state of Acre. On the 17th, the state set up a crisis response committee, and asked the Ministry of Justice and Public Security to support the police to alleviate the epidemic situation that has been exacerbated by the flow of refugees in Assis Brazil.
Assis Brazil is the city with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the state of Acre.
According to statistics released by the health department of the state of Acre on the 17th, 1,376 out of every 10,000 people in the city are infected with COVID-19, and Haitian refugees who live in refugee camps in the city all year round often cross the border between Brazil and Peru, thus exacerbating the epidemic situation in the two countries.
On the 16th, Peruvian police have blocked the Peruvian side of the border with Brazil and banned refugees from entering Peru on the Brazilian side.
After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the reconstruction after the disaster was very slow, and Haitian refugees successively entered Brazil from Peru through the state of Acré.
Haitian refugee camps are built in the state of Acre and Peru bordering it.