RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian military says the number of Venezuelans crossing into Brazil has risen this week amid an escalation in their homeland's political unrest.
Officials said Thursday that 1,418 Venezuelans entered the northern state of Roraima on Tuesday and Wednesday. They said that was three times as many as a week earlier.
The United Nations' office in Brazil says data from the country's federal police indicate an average of 474 Venezuelans entered Brazil daily in February. Federal police officials could not be contacted to confirm the numbers.
In addition to its political conflict, Venezuela has been wracked by hyperinflation that has wiped out the buying power of wages and there are widespread shortages of basic foods and medicine. U.N. officials estimate 3.7 million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years.