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Venezuelans send medicines from Mexico to alleviate the humanitarian crisis

Venezuelans send medicines from Mexico to alleviate the humanitarian crisis

Venezuelans living in Mexico have built a perfectly structured network between both countries that collects medicines to send to foundations in Venezuela, whose government is demanding that the country declare a humanitarian emergency.

The organization connects with other foundations based in Venezuela, establishing ties that allow to perpetuate the communication and follow up the shipments.

"We are totally in touch with the organizers and the workers of the foundations," says Dr. Omarli Brizeño, who admits that the clandestine nature of his actions is irremediable due to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

The government "has not declared a humanitarian emergency" and, failing to do so, can not receive humanitarian aid, and the country needs it, he says.

The organization operates from a parish in the San Fernando neighborhood, in the south of Mexico City. A few steps from the chapel, they have an austere room, bare ocher walls and maroon tiles packed with suitcases.

Women and men receive and accurately classify surgeons medicine, and then send them to Venezuela with anonymous travelers.

For better control, they have identified chairs that surround the walls and serve to classify medications in alphabetical order.

Donations come from different Mexican cities, such as Monterrey, Querétaro or Pachuca, and arrive at different airports in Venezuela.

Each kilo counts, so they cut with scissors the wrappers of the pills, trying to double the capacity of the boxes. Afterwards, everything is covered with cellophane and inserted into the suitcases, ready for shipment.

The connection between foundations manages to take a quick control of what is needed and what is received.

The efforts of the Venezuelan government to make the situation invisible cause the arrival of customs to unleash chaos.

Marilé Guevara, another of the organizers, tells Efe that any shipment "can be held by the guard", as it can help the opposition.

Their actions, on the other hand, try to transcend the political division of the country. "Our intention is to help all who need medicines," he says.

Brizeño comes from a small town where his family resides, to which he has not yet been able to get any medicine.

The doctor puts the collective good before her personal needs.

The Venezuelan authorities have seized on several occasions not only the medicines but also the passports of travelers.

"They stopped me, they are asking for money, they seized my passport," are some of the unexpected that Guevara lists.

In those moments, the network is put in operation, intervening people from the foundations of the country to try to defuse the situation.

"Normally, when the travelers arrive at the airport in Venezuela, we have people from the other foundations waiting for them and we have the contact of what is happening," explains Guevara.

Once customs have been drawn, the distribution of medicines by the different states of the country begins.

"Upon reaching the foundation, people with their prescription and medical report can look for the medicines they need," says Brizeño.

According to the Venezuelan Pharmaceutical Federation (Fefarven), the scarcity of medicines in the Caribbean country stands at 85%.

The precariousness of the means available to the network contrasts with an exemplary human organization that illustrates the ability of a people to organize democratically to deal with a crisis that worsens with the passing of days.

Venezuela has been the scene for 74 days of a wave of protests that has degenerated into violent acts in which there have been 67 deaths, more than a thousand wounded and more than 3,132 detainees, of which 1,350 remain deprived of their liberty.

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