Increase in diseases, theft since Venezuelan migrants arrived – Indigenous Leaders

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As the number of Venezuelan migrants continuously increases, with some 5123 documented in Guyana, Indigenous leaders from Amerindian communities are calling for stricter security in border communities as the influx of migrants has resulted in an increase in health and security issues in their villages.

Some of the alarming issues have been identified as the prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and increase in criminal activities and were raised at Monday’s commencement of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA) 10th Annual General Assembly.

These concerns were voiced by APA’s unit representatives particularly for Arau and Kaikan Villages, in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), who pleaded for the situation to be taken under control immediately by the Government.

APA’s representative in Arau Village, Devroy Thomas, related to Inews that while the village leaders understand the need to render support, the issue has become very complicated, since the migrants were bringing with them bad practices which could corrupt the communities.

It has been reported by the community health workers that there is spread of STDs and some of the youths in the village have been affected and there are no drugs available … the crime rate is high and alarming and is making the villagers afraid,” he explained.

Residents of Kaikan Village are experiencing similar problems, since many have complained about their homes being broken into and mainly clothing being stolen. They are growing worried about their lifestyle being negatively impacted by the migrants, especially if they are left unsupervised.

Thus, desperate calls are being made to the Government of Guyana to have greater and effective measures in place to curb these issues being faced by Indigenous people and communities.

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