Panama registers entry of about 2 1,000 undocumented migrants from South America

Photo: Courtesy MINSEG.
By Elida Moreno

Panama confirmed that some 2 One thousand undocumented migrants entered the country in recent days from South America through the dangerous Darien jungle on the border with Colombia amid the coronavirus health crisis, reported the Ministry of Security.

"In the last two weeks they have entered 2 1,000 extra-continental and Haitian migrants, entire families with pregnant women and children who risk their lives walking through the wooded jungle for more than 10 hours", stated the Minister of Security, Juan Pino.

Pino traveled to Darien with a government team, which included the Vice Minister of Health, Ivette Berrío to assess the situation, after the arrival on Wednesday night of some 442 migrants to Bajo Chiquito, an inhospitable border area that receives foreigners who go in transit to the north of the continent on a daily basis.

Photo: Courtesy MINSEG.

Pino explained that the goal is to offer the assistance that corresponds to migrants as has been done throughout the pandemic, and "keep the flow controlled" to the north without entering the Panamanian populations to avoid any type of contagion.

So far this year and after the opening of the border, 7 a thousand migrants have passed through the country from South America, of which some 3,400 migrants still remain in Panama, authorities say.

Vice Minister Berrio explained that the migrants are in specific places in the Darien province where comprehensive health care will be offered to pregnant women and migrant children to allow them to continue on their way..

Photo: Courtesy MINSEG.

A recent UNICEF report highlighted that in recent years 4 years, more of 46.500 migrants have crossed the Darien jungle, of which 6.240 They are children, and adolescents.

"With restrictions on mobility and the closure of borders to stop the spread of COVID-19, this irregular migratory flow stopped, but it didn't stop at all ", said the United Nations agency.

He added that the Darien jungle, between Colombia and Panama, It is one of the most dangerous routes in the world due to the mountainous terrain, fauna and insects, as well as the presence of criminal organizations.

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