Migration and the humanitarian crisis on the Colombia-Panama border are getting worse by the day. So far this year, 49,000 immigrants from Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela, including men, women, children, and entire families, have attempted to cross the dense and dangerous Darian forest on their way to the United States. Goal: To make the American dream come true.
For weeks, thousands of immigrants, including minors and pregnant women, have been waiting to be taken by boat to the Panama border to cross the Daniel for boats in the Colombian port of Necole. This 266km forest trail between Colombia and Panama has become a mandatory step for irregular immigration, trying to reach Mexico, the United States and Canada from South America.
Monsignor Hugo Marín of the Diocese of Aberdeady in Colombia spoke to the RFI and said that many of the non-settlers were subjected to great torture as they tried to cross the uninhabited Darian forest, saying, “The road is terrible because there are a lot of mountains. The diaspora is tired for days, and it’s a two-day journey from their landing to the border, so it’s a journey of more than five hours. ”
According to Panama, about a thousand “irregular” immigrants cross the Darian Gap each month. For their part, Colombian authorities are condemning international networks that are transferring immigrants from Chile or other countries on the continent – to the Narino port on the Ecuadorian border, where “mafias” charge up to $ 300 to push them. Limitations with Panama.
“We will not allow any illegal person or any illegal group to use immigrants (…) to obtain resources to feed illegal activities,” Diego Molano warned; Minister of Defense of Panama.
Reasonable migration policies
For his part, Gustavo Peralta from Panama’s Popular Legal Aid Center (Cepal) noted that countries in crisis need to develop adequate migration policies.
“Organizations must first identify the human condition of each and see how they can be maintained in migration centers, and they are treated with dignity. […] What governments need to understand is that people are not going to stop passing, they are going to leave their own countries for one need or another. Seeking a restraint means applying an adequate migration policy to each country, ”he told the RFI
On the other hand, the city of Negro celebrates the presence of immigrants as it boosts the economy of the small tourist port affected by the epidemic. Immigrants have rented hotel rooms and private homes while waiting for space on dozens of boats crossing the Gulf of Urabe daily, which is one of the main transportation points for immigrants seeking to travel to Panama on foot through the jungle corridor known as the Dorian Gap. To Central America.
Panama wants to reach an agreement similar to the one with Costa Rica with Colombia, through which a certain number of immigrants are transferred daily to the Costa Rican border on a controlled basis with the permission of San Jose so they can continue their journey. According to official data, more than 140,000 illegal immigrants crossed the Darian a decade ago. Although the Govt-19 epidemic reduced traffic on this route to a minimum, it gradually erupted again in 2021.
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