24 February 2015 – Government defends Syrian refugee programme

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The Ministry of Foreign Relations issued a press release on the situation of the five Syrian families given refuge by Uruguay in October 2014. In recent weeks, the press has repeatedly reported problems involving the refugees.

For example, on 4 February, the daily newspaper El Observador reported cases of domestic violence within the Syrian families. For its part, the daily El País stated that the reception of the refugees has not been problem-free. Apparently there have been repeated cases of conflicts among the 43 members of the five families during their stay in the asylum centre. The newspaper noted that President José Mujica had already been informed of the events in December when he spoke about “cultural barriers” and said: “I don’t think many more families will come, we have a lot of cultural barriers. If women and children came it would be wonderful. But the men have certain customs… like our great-grandfathers did.”