Syrian refugees in Uruguay demand permission to leave
A group of Syrian refugees welcomed to Uruguay last year protest outside the presidency building on Monday demanding that authorities let them leave the South American country.
Uruguay welcomed five families of 42 Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in October 2014. Two of the families are protesting, saying local officials promised more than they could deliver. They say Uruguay is expensive and there are no jobs.
Maher Aldees, the head of one family, says he wants to travel to Syria or Lebanon, and that he and his relatives will continue protesting outside the presidential offices until authorities take them to the airport. The Aldees family returned to Montevideo a week ago after attempting to travel abroad. They spent 20 days in the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, where their documents were not accepted.
“They told us Uruguay was something else, and they lied to us,” Maheer Aldes says.
The Ashebli family, arrive outside the building with suitcases and bags carrying their belongings, and say they would remain until their demands are met. They traveled from Juan Lacaze, a small Uruguayan city some 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of Montevideo.
“They told us a lot of things that never came true,” says Ibrahim Ashebli. “They told us this country was cheap, and it’s expensive. Money is not enough. There’s no work.”