Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora
Panama expects an increase in the transit of migrants entering the country through the dangerous Darien jungle on the border with Colombia to continue their journey to North America, as countries open their borders, after more than a year of pandemic.
Security Minister, Juan Pino said that "... this year has been very crucial" due to the unusual flow of migrants who have passed through the country en route to the United States..
"…more of 42 a thousand migrants have already passed through Panama, this is expected to increase, and if we look historically the highest year was 2016 that ended with (more) 25 one thousand migrants who passed through Panama ", assured the official after attending a police activity.
Irregular migrants entering Panama from Colombia cross the so-called Darien Gap, a jungle region, inhospitable and almost impenetrable risking life, even exposed to attacks by criminals, according to reports from survivors.
In the last decade, the flow of foreigners who travel through the Darien jungle has been increasing. Migrants from countries like Haiti, Cuba, and extracontinental have had to leave their countries of origin forced by poverty, political crises, and the violence, according to experts.
"Their only interest is to migrate, go through Panama to go to the countries of the United States and Canada ", assured the minister.
He added that Panama is the only country that verifies all the people who pass through its territory., "And gives him a special humanitarian treatment" since for these people stop 7 u 8 days in the Darien Gap walking from Colombia, "It is an odyssey" in which "many of them have lost their lives".
Following the situation, Panama has been forced to build shelters to serve foreigners who usually spend weeks in the country before being transferred to the border with Costa Rica through the controlled flow program agreed between the two countries..
In 2020 as a result of the pandemic and the consequent restrictions, border closure and transport stoppage, the transit of migrants was reduced by more than half compared to the previous year from 22 thousand 102 in the year 2019 a 8,594, according to the National Migration Service.