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tv   Escape to Paraguay  BBC News  April 24, 2022 12:30am-1:01am BST

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this is bbc news, the headlines... government officials in ukraine say at least eight people have been killed in missile strikes on the southern port city of odesa. the dead include a three—month—old baby. 20 other people were injured in the attacks. the ukrainian foreign minister says they were designed to "spread terror." ukraine's president zelensky has announced that the us secretary of state and us defence secretary will visit kyiv on sunday. they're the most senior us officials to visit ukraine since the start of the conflict. mr zelensky expressed his gratitude to the us for its provision of weapons. voting has begun in some french overseas territories, in the second round of the presidential election. the polls will open in france
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itself in a few hours�* time. the incumbent, emmanuel macron, is going head—to—head with the far—right candidate, marine le pen. now on bbc news — escape to paraguay. banks on the banks of the parana river, built among some of paraguay�*s most fertile land, hohenau, obligado and bella vista — or the united colonies. these german settlements were first established more than 100 years ago by immigrants wanting to farm the land. recently, paraguay has seen a new wave of german immigration. babbles yes, we have a problem in
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germany, but it is not so easy to talk about this problem. but that's not all. we've been told that in the last four weeks, at least 1,200 people have entered the country illegally. so can that be true? are german immigrants really breaking into paraguay? and if so, why? it's one of the oldest cities in south america. asuncion, the capital of a nation built on immigration. paraguay lost half its population during the triple alliance war of 1864,
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fighting against brazil, uruguay and argentina, and opened its doors to immigrants from all over the world as it tried to repair. in the early 1900s, almost 400km south of the capital, a handful of german families, led by a man named wilhelm closs, began to build the united colonies, and thousands more would follow. germans escaping nazis during the second world war fled to the united colonies — and ironically, nazis themselves fleeing justice back home would find sanctuary here, too. since then, there's been a steady stream of immigration — untiljune 2021, when suddenly the numbers began to accelerate. so i made the six—hour journey from asuncion to the colonies to meet some
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of the new arrivals. "fuhl dich wie zu hause." it means, "feel like you are at home." and for thousands of germans who have arrived here in recent months, this really is home now. amongst them, the hausens — two—year—old ella, her mum teresa, and dad stephan. they moved to paraguay in novemberfrom nuremberg. but why? laughs
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like so many others, for the hausens, it was the covid—19 pandemic which pushed them to leave germany. corona might well have been the final straw for this family, but there was another reason they decided to move. we'll come back to them later.
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michael schwartz is another new arrival — an architect from stuttgart. he dreamt of building his own german community here in hohenau. but when nobody would move with him, he decided to pack up and come alone. many people tell about vaccination, but this is not the main thing for me. i want to have blue sky. not so much clouds, cloudy, and not so much rain. and i want warm weather, and i want to do many things outside. and, of course, tax. 0k, taxes. taxes is a big problem in germany. many people say in germany, we have the most taxes in the world, but the money is not put in for the people who live in germany long time. corona changed many things.
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0k. over one million people lost their companies. so the pandemic, the situation with the pandemic played a role in your decision to come to... but the methods are the problem, not the pandemic or corona is not the problem, because what they do is wrong. they destroy the infrastructure. and what about the vaccination rules? what do you think? yeah, vccination is now a big, big problem, that you don't, erm, allow to criticise this. are you vaccinated? i don't do it because there are many questions with this vaccination. many doubts. doubts. do you think you can live here without vaccination? yes, yes, yes. but there is a campaign. it's not so that all paraguay find it good, this vaccination.
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many pa raguaya ns say "no". well, but vaccines save millions of lives. when you see the figures and you compare with the old vaccination, for other, er... it is much, much, much more people have problems with this vaccination. and then, you know, from the man who create this test, that the test is not able... show infection. this is fact. but this is incorrect. pcr tests do accurately diagnose corona, and that's not the only misconception we have discovered among the newcomers. covid measures here are actually quite strict.
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vaccine certificates and pcrs are carefully checked. you can find hand—washing stations like this outside virtually every public place, and masks are commonplace. but the fear among the locals is that some of the new arrivals don't feel that these rules apply to them. it's a big worry, especially as paraguay had the highest number of covid deaths per capita anywhere in the world when this new spike of immigration began.
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the country is running a national campaign to inoculate the population, so unvaccinated immigrants are a worry for the mayor. and then, the mayor says something that confuses me. in january this year,
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paraguay made it mandatory for all non—residents entering the country to be vaccinated. since then, message boards have been filled with ways to get around the rules. michael and the hausens arrived legally and through the airport. but since the rules changed, we're told german citizens have been breaking into the country illegally through its porous borders. "juan" — not his real name — is a government official. he's risking his job to speak to us, because he's angry. he says paraguay had to change the rules because of the immigrants.
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but they are still entering without that certificate. how is that happening? paraguay is surrounded by bolivia, argentina and brazil. with limited resources,
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policing the perimeter is not easy. juan says this means illegal immigrants are easily able to enter the country and bypass the covid checks. he says corrupt officials then legitimise their paperwork. the bbc cannot independently verinyuan�*s figures. estimates we've received differ hugely. in response tojuan�*s allegations, the government told us... they added...
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noemijara works in the tourism office. she's in the business of welcoming people, but she's worried that double standards have become the norm. noemi goes farther. she says she often feels belittled by the new arrivals.
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but that isn't the end of this story. it is notjust the pandemic driving this new wave of immigration. newsreader: angela merkel is absolutely putting - on the pressure, and has been doing so... - since 2015, around 1.5 million migrants, many of whom had fled war in afghanistan, iraq and syria, have entered germany in response to former chancellor angela merkel�*s open—door policy. but the strategy has led to tensions at home, and some say fuelled a rise
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in the far right. stephan and teresa say the main reason they emigrated to paraguay was to protect their daughter from the "influences" of islam. what's the difference
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between muslims arriving in germany and you europeans arriving in this country?
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stephan says he's been warmly welcomed in paraguay. i asked him why the same welcome couldn't be extended to immigrants in germany. the husband's position is not unique. in fact, every german immigrant we spoke to during our visit cited muslims in germany as one of the main reasons they left the country.
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"hana" — not her real name — left her home in germany four years ago. we worked very hard. a0 years long. now she helps germans settle in paraguay. she refuses to show her face on camera, because she says she is sick of bad press campaigns.
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but they are protecting their children from what, exactly? but that is a strong accusation. do you have, or do they have any evidence of that? what would you say to people who think that argument is racist, that you are being racist?
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i pointed out to hana that the new immigrants who are breaking into paraguay in order to flout the country's covid rules are not being respectful. hana herself is not vaccinated, and tested positive for covid—19 later that day. coughs but this is not... this is not a campaign. this is what is happening. there are some people from germany who are entering illegally the country, because they don't have
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the vaccine certificate. no, no, of course not all of them. but this is a... this is a illegal thing. of course, those sort of things are legal things and they have the right to do that, to start a new life in a new country. but since january. ..
12:53 am enter paraguay, you have to show your vaccine certificate, and these people are entering through all the borders to escape that control. that is illegal. betweenjune 2021 and march 2022, just over 1,300 new residence permits were issued to german immigrants, but the true number of new settlers is thought to be much higher. the exact number of illegal immigrants remains unknown. paraguay has a long history of welcoming migrants from all over the world. it's a part of the fabric of society. they are proud to be open and inclusive, and they say that while this new wave of immigration is welcome, any kind of prejudice is not.
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it's just un—paraguayan. hello there. there are some changes on the way for next week, and i'll show you those a little later on. saturday, though, was dry with some spells of sunshine for much of the country. and warm, as well — in dorset, temperatures reached 20 celsius. different story in the far north of scotland, where we've still got a lot of this cloudy weather. temperatures were nearer 8—9 celsius in the afternoon. it was also cooler around those north sea coasts. the wind continues to come in off the north sea,
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where sea surface temperatures are only around nine degrees. we've still got those east—to—northeasterly winds on sunday, not as strong as on saturday. many places will be dry with some warm sunshine coming through, as well. now, close to this area of low pressure, there could still be a bit of rain threatening the far south of england. still got high pressure to the north of the uk, keeping the run of east—to—northeasterly winds going. and these are the temperatures we start with on sunday morning. still a bit of rain there potentially in the far south west of england to move away. elsewhere, though, a generally dry and sunny start. we'll see some cloud building up, particularly in england and wales, and there could be 1—2 isolated showers popping off, but generally it's dry. similar story for northern ireland — more sunshine in the southwest of scotland, where it's a bit warmer, north—eastern parts of scotland cooler still with some of that low cloud. highest temperatures, southern england, south wales, 18—19 celsius. most of the wet weather on these weather system is getting steered to the south of the uk. high pressure is dominating,
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and it's centred all the way up there into greenland. now, we'll have lighter winds on monday. they're coming more from the north, so it'll be a bit cooler. and we'll find more clouds spreading out and increasing through the day, and the greater chance of catching 1—2 showers in england and wales. should be dry in scotland and northern ireland, cloudy in northern parts of scotland, and generally it's cooler on monday, with highs around 1a celsius or so. and it could be a chilly start on tuesday, with cloudy skies across the north, and that northerly breeze will push the cloud further south, and temperatures will range from 16 in the southwest of england and south wales to only around nine celsius in northeast scotland and the northeast of england. so, these are the changes for next week — it'll be cooler, there'll be a lot more cloud around, but this generally dry theme is set to continue. goodbye.
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this is bbc news. i'm chris rogers. our top stories... the ukrainian port city of 0desa is struck by russian missiles — killing at least eight people and injuring many more. president zelensky says the us secretary of state will arrive in kyiv on sunday — the highest—level us visit since the war began. campaigning ends in france's presidential election — with emmanuel macron and marine le pen urging people to turn out and vote. a search is under way injapan for 26 passengers and crew of a tourist boat missing off the northern island of hokkaido. and a not—so—friendly welcome — anti—colonialist protests mar the latest royal tour of the carribean.


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