Boa Vista, Brazil, May 4 (EFE).- Brazilian authorities on Friday relocated 233 Venezuelan migrants from this border city to Sao Paulo and Manaus, the second phase of a plan aimed at easing the pressure on public services in Roraima state.
The Brazilian air force plane carried 164 migrants to the Amazonian city of Manaus, while the 69 other Venezuelans flew on to the continental metropolis of Sao Paulo.
Among those headed to Sao Paulo was 18-year-old Edwin Herrera, who fled his native Ciudad Bolivar hoping to leave behind the economic and political crisis in Venezuela.
Herrera told EFE that his mother and two siblings remain in Venezuela, but that he hopes to bring them to Sao Paulo once his situation is stable.
Brazil has decided to deal with the influx of Venezuelans by providing basic accommodation and services, including Portuguese lessons, in Roraima while working with municipalities around the country to direct the migrants to places with opportunities.
Sao Paulo, for example, prefers single, childless individuals with backgrounds in factory work, while Manaus favors families with children and service workers.
There are still some 6,000 Venezuelan refugees in Boa Vista, with roughly 4,000 in shelters and the rest living on the streets as they wait for places in the shelters.
Brazilian authorities estimate that some 40,000 Venezuelans have entered the country through Roraima over the past few months.
The first phase of the relocation program began last month, when 199 Venezuelans were transported to Sao Paolo and 66 others to Cuiaba, capital of Mato Grosso state, where farming and ranching are the major economic activities.