Brazilian workers flee Suriname town after violence

14:52, January 09, 2010      

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More than 100 Brazilians have fled the Suriname gold mining town of Albina since rioting and attacks riots by local Maroons against foreign migrant workers erupted in late December, local media reported on Friday.

In the riot, triggered by an alleged stabbing incident involving a Brazilian and a Maroon, a descendant of former African slaves in Albina, some 150 km east of the capital Paramaribo, 25 people were injured and 17 women sexually assaulted, media reports said.

But among those Brazilian migrant workers who have fled, fewer than 40 said they would choose to return to their home country.

While some political sources now doubt the possibility of Brazilian migrants living in harmony with Maroons after the violence, the Brazilian ambassador was more upbeat.

"In other regions of Suriname, the coexistence is peaceful and without threats. It is necessary to understand the complexity of this country," Jose Luiz Machado e Costa said.

"The Brazilians who have come to Suriname have well defined objectives. In general, they work hard in mining and are thrifty. Only after this they are returning to Brazil," ambassador said.

On Dec. 24, about 200 foreigners, including Brazilians, were attacked by Surinamese Maroons in Albina.

Source: Xinhua
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