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International News: Panama criticizes Colombian officials over inaction on record numbers of migrants crossing dangerous Darien Gap

Posted: Saturday, August 5, 2023. 10:22 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez:  On Friday, the head of Panama’s national migration service, Samira Gozaine, sharply criticized Colombian officials for their failure to assist in controlling the flow of primarily U.S.-bound migrants traversing the perilous Darien Gap.

Data has shown that a record number of migrants have undertaken this treacherous journey through the jungle during the initial months of 2023, a passage filled with various risks and threats.

According to Reuters, Gozaine expressed deep frustration at the inability to secure an agreement with Colombia that would promote the legal transit of the up to 2,800 migrants a day who are unlawfully crossing the shared border between the two nations.

The Darien Gap, a dense and dangerous jungle region, serves as a link between Panama and Colombia and has long been used by migrants as a crossing point. However, this pathway is notorious for the violent crimes committed against migrants.

The situation has reached an alarming point, with almost 250,000 migrants have crossed the jungle so far in 2023, already surpassing the total number for the entire previous year. The lack of collaboration between the neighboring countries in addressing this humanitarian concern only intensifies the urgency of the matter.

 

 

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