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[Illegal] Migration at the Panama-Colombia Border

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This topic is closely related to another topic here on CL, but we are opting to keep them separate. Please refer to http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/11782-the-presidents-of-panama-and-costa-rica-have-a-pow-wow-at-the-panamonte for related information.

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Regarding "open borders" people routinely refer to the open border of The Netherlands and Belgium which are two first world nonviolent countries as depicted in the attached photo.  An open border betw

Panama does not have an open border with Colombia. It has the nearly impenetrable Darien Jungle to serve as a barrier. The referenced travelers were handled by Panamanian Migration, MINSA, and SI

Well, these 'travelers' have no desire to declare themselves refugees in Panama so your point is invalid, apart from demonstrating that you're personally biased against migration ..excepting your own,

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Health Ministry to provide humane care for northbound migrants


Posted 08/07/2019

Panama’s Ministry of Health (Minsa),  has announced an inter-institutional team led by doctors and nurses to care for migrants camped in   Darien waiting to continue their trek towards the United States.  

The Ministry ns other government entities, made a tour in the community of La Peñita de Darién, to check the health and safety situation of thousands of migrants who are passing through the province.

migrants_(1).jpgTo date at least 25 migrant deaths have been recorded, while others have disappeared in the jungle or been swept away in rivers.

After the tour, the Ministry announced that in the coming days will join an inter-institutional tour will be held in the camp, where migrants will be treated in a comprehensive manner, emphasizing the health needs of the people.  

According to the Ministry, there are currently at least 1,200 people of both sexes, from different countries and continents such as Africa, America, and the Middle East.  

"The tour saw a large number of minors and pregnant women who risk their lives with their families to reach North America," said the Minsa statement.

Health Minister, Rosario Turner, gave instructions for l doctors and nurses to lead the medical tour, in order to care for these migrants who require "as soon as possible effective, timely, dignified and humane care".



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Panama Follows Mexico in Clamping Down on Illegal Migrants

By Jason Peña on July 29, 2019

The National Migration Service (SNM) of Panama recently reported the country's latest deportation data. The Nicaraguan news website El Nuevo Diario reported, the removal of 531 Nicaraguan migrants from Panama for the first six months of 2019, nearly 25 percent of the total of 2,034 foreigners repatriated to their home countries during this time. Of the 531 migrants, 86 were formally deported by Panamanian immigration officials, 12 were prohibited from returning to country, and the remaining 433 migrants voluntarily returned to Nicaragua. The month of June represented the highest number of migrant removals of 2019, with 24 formal deportations of Nicaraguan citizens.

The SNM data indicates that while Nicaraguans comprise a large share of deportations and permanent bans from Panama, the country ranks third behind Cubans and Colombians. Panamanian immigration officials have generally utilized "voluntary return" as the primary method for immigration enforcement. Additionally, since 2017, Panama has adopted stricter immigration policies. Presidential Decree 269, mandates any foreign tourist on Panama's soil must depart after 90 days; the previous limit was 180 days.

Presidential Decree 269 was specifically crafted to address the recent influx of Nicaraguans, Colombians, and Venezuelans. According to SNM official data, 2018 witnessed over 1,066 returns of Nicaraguans from Panama – a 33.4 percent drop compared to 2017, when 1,603 were sent back. Between 2010 and 2018, there were over 6,431 deportations of Nicaraguans from Panama, with 1,000 of those deportations occurring in the last four years. Data from the SNM lists visa overstays as the primary reason for deportation, followed by illegal entry into Panama, national security risks, and "remaining irregularly" in the country.

In recent months, Panama's neighbors Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica have also experienced a high volume of migrants at their borders.


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Trump wants Darien trek asylum survivors returned to Panama


Many die on the perilous journey through the Darien jungle

Posted 21/08/2019

The Trump administration wants to reach an agreement with the Government of Panama that allows the United States to return to the Isthmus asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and other places, who survived the perilous journey across Darien en route to the US.

The news was carried in The Washington Post, on Monday, August 20.

The "third safe country" agreement would apply mainly to the "relatively small but growing" number of "extracontinental" asylum seekers who arrive in South America, before heading north to Panama, through wild forests and muddy rivers, according to the report

The newspaper said that the US interim secretary of National Security Kevin McAleenan, will travel to Panama City to meet with President Laurentino Cortizo with the aim of "discussing regional cooperation to address irregular migration," said a Department of Homeland Security statement. 

Before leaving for Panama, McAleenan said the purpose of his trip is a "broader agenda" and not to negotiate a specific agreement, according to the Post. "We are going to talk about our broad security relationship and the solid basis for exchanging information with Panama."

According to McAleenan, this will include the movement of drugs across the region, smugglers and human traffickers, and a dialogue on irregular migration flows.

The visit is part of the efforts of the Trump administration to establish agreements of a "safe third country" throughout the hemisphere, which will allow US authorities to reject asylum seekers on the border between Mexico and the United States and send them to other countries willing to offer shelter.

Kevin McAleenan already reached an agreement at the end of last July with the Guatemalan government that, if implemented, would allow the United States to send Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers there.



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The Trump administration wants to reach an agreement with the Government of Panama that allows the United States to return to the Isthmus asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and other places, who survived the perilous journey across Darien en route to the US.

Why should Panama become a dumping ground for rejected U.S. asylum seekers?  These folks are not from Panama and they passed through other countries before reaching here.


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13 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

Why should Panama become a dumping ground for rejected U.S. asylum seekers?  These folks are not from Panama and they passed through other countries before reaching here.



The Americas should adopt the UN law in Europe that allows asylum seekers to be returned to the country of entry.  If they're entering Panama via Colombia then it would be Colombia.


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MEDIAWATCH: US pressures Panama on migrant flow through Hell's Gap


Acting U.S. homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan, center, shakes hands with Panamanian Border Police officers during a visit to the Peñitas humanitarian camp (Arnulfo Franco/AP)

Posted 28/08/2019

PEÑITAS, Panama Washington Post, Aug, 27— A Panama official thumbed through the soft soiled pages of a ragged Pakistani passport for a man who had just emerged from the jungle.

The disheveled migrant stared ahead as the nation’s interior minister and acting U.S. homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan reviewed the visa stamps inside the worn document: Yemen, Djibouti, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

The man had traveled all over a distant hemisphere but had found his way to a humanitarian camp on the edge of one of the most dangerous corridors in Latin America.

“We got to take a look at this cat,” McAleenan said as he watched an agent take fingerprints, retinal scans and other biometrics, destined for an information-sharing program that checks the data against U.S. and international criminal databases.

The relationship between the Panamanian and U.S. governments is one of enduring cooperation since the early days of the Panama Canal, but the explosion of migrants from outside Latin America traversing the isthmus to journey north to the United States has triggered a new conversation about border security. This group of migrants — known as extracontinentals — immigrate to South American countries to work and, after some time, continue north.

The 100 miles of dense tropical rainforest, marshland and treacherous rivers known as the Darien Gap has been a natural barrier to intercontinental migration for years because there is no road linking South America and North America. U.S. officials estimate that about a decade ago, fewer than 100 people per year attempted to travel through the remote wilderness, home to paramilitary guerrillas, traffickers, and indigenous tribes. This year, more than 17,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti and Cuba — and from as far away as Nepal, Burkina Faso and Congo — have paid smugglers to lead them along footpaths next to swollen waterways or used WhatsApp to follow a trafficker’s directions. They face dangers from wildlife, criminals, and disease.

Those who survive to continue on their way to the United States, and some arrive with plans to harm the country, DHS officials said. Panama, in conjunction with U.S. authorities, has repatriated two people from the Middle East who came through the Darien this year and were on lists of potential terrorists or those with possible links to terrorism.

“There is shared concern about movements of extra continentals, especially from outside the hemisphere, that could present security risks,” McAleenan said. “The goal was to engage partner governments that have that first opportunity, when someone is entering the hemisphere and who is clearly intending to migrate.”

McAleenan traveled last week to the 100-mile-long Panama-Colombia border as part of meetings with leaders from seven Central American countries and Colombia to discuss stronger security collaborations.

The acting secretary said he didn’t come to negotiate a specific agreement but the meetings are part of a broader DHS effort to help countries rework their asylum and immigration institutions. Together with its partners, DHS says it not only wants to stop lucrative trafficking networks but also prepare those governments to potentially take in U.S.-bound migrants who officials say are overwhelming the U.S. immigration system.

Under threat of U.S. tariffs, the Guatemalan president signed one such deal that could prevent thousands of Central Americans destined for the United States from reaching the border with Mexico. But the widely unpopular deal is on hold after Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ruled that any “safe third country” agreement would require legislative approval.

Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart said his government is waiting on clarification from the courts, but he is confident Guatemala has the means and right implementation plans to grant asylum to Honduran and Salvadoran migrants within their borders.

here is no such deal in the works for Panama, the Panamanian president said. During his trip, McAleenan talked to and toured the Peñitas humanitarian camp with Security Minister Rolando Mirones.

“What we need are regional solutions, not bilateral ones,” Mirones told reporters before the summit. “It’s not a problem that can be solved bilaterally.”

But there were other areas where bilateral negotiations are necessary, McAleenan said. U.S. law enforcement officials have deep ties in Panama, where local agents are embedded in the country’s sea and airports and help support local drug-trafficking investigations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection bought the giant screening machines that take X-ray images of suspicious shipping containers at four of the country’s marine ports. And at the Panamanian border in the Darien, U.S. officials supplied Panama’s border security force, SENAFRONT, with the devices that capture fingerprints, photographs and iris scans to process the influx of migrants showing up at the Peñitas camp.

The migrants often arrive emaciated, sick and dangerously dehydrated after seven to 10 days of traveling the jungle, officials said. Humanitarian groups provide food, medical attention for maladies such as dysentery and dengue fever, and filtered water from a muddy river to quench their thirst.

Agents, meanwhile, register biometric information from 50 to 60 migrants a day into BITMAP, or the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program, inside a guard shack. But the migrants can bypass the authorities at the camp to avoid detection.



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US Homeland Security head in Panama to talk drugs, migrants



The U.S. acting homeland security secretary has arrived in Panama to discuss drug trafficking and migrant smuggling, though Kevin McAleenan says he isn't seeking any specific agreement during the visit.

Panama has been the bridge for many migrants from Haiti, Africa and Asia who arrive in South America seeking to reach the U.S. border. Panama is also a route for cocaine and other drugs moving up from South America.

In statements before he arrived Wednesday, McAleenan said the United States wants to involve Colombia and Costa Rica in talks on how to handle the flow of migrants.

Panama is reviewing its current policy of providing camps for migrants who enter by a narrow jungle land bridge from South America and then allowing them to move north.


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On 8/22/2019 at 8:41 AM, Siempre Soluciones said:


The Americas should adopt the UN law in Europe that allows asylum seekers to be returned to the country of entry.  If they're entering Panama via Colombia then it would be Colombia.



In the past couple of weeks I've been asked about clarifying the UN law as it pertains to refugees in Europe so I'll post it here since I bet there are people here that are probably curious too.
A majority of the millions of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa that have sought asylum in Europe entered through Turkey via boats into Greece and then on to their final destination countries in Europe.  There's a UN law that allows European countries to return refugees to the country of origin where a refugee entered Europe.  A couple of years back German Chancellor Merkel toyed with the idea of exercising this law to reduce their burden associated with these refugees thus returning refugees to Greece.  Chancellor Merkel received mixed responses from other European nations.  Understandably Greece claimed that exercising this UN law it would put an over whelming burden on their country. 
The US has forged agreements similar to this UN law with several Central American countries with Guatemala being the latest in order to curtail the influx of refugees into the US which is on track to total more than one million for the 2019 calendar year.
The basis for this is that asylum can't be economic based since it would set a precedent.  It would allow refugees to country "shop" say first by seeking asylum in the US and then determining that the standard of living is higher in Switzerland and then subsequently seeking asylum there and then perhaps next to an oil rich nation such as Kuwait.



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Panama sees more than seven-fold increase in number of migrant children crossing through Darien Gap

Nearly 24,000 people from more than 50 nationalities, 16 per cent of whom are children, crossed the dangerous jungle in 2019

05 March 2020


© UNICEF/UNI308584/Urdaneta
Romeu Mauricio and his son Jetfro (3) crossing the Darien dividing Colombia and Panama.

PANAMA CITY / NEW YORK, 6 March 2020 — The number of migrant children crossing the Darien Gap, a jungled portion of land separating Colombia from Central America, increased more than seven-fold to nearly 4,000 in 2019 from 522 the year before – UNICEF announced today. Approximately 50 per cent of the children were under 6 years old. Migrants who crossed in 2019 hailed from more than 50 different countries including India, Somalia, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Bangladesh.

The findings are based on data from national migration services.

The UN children’s agency went on to warn of the grave risks facing migrant children and their families who make this perilous journey. Risks include no access to safe water, as well as exposure to natural hazards, dangerous animals, robbery, abuse and exploitation.

“The dramatic increase in the number of migrant children moving through the Darien Gap underscores the urgent need for action to protect these children and ensure their access to essential services such as healthcare, water and hygiene,” said UNICEF Representative for Panama Kyungsun Kim. “This requires coordinated and strengthened efforts from governments and humanitarian actors on the ground responding to the flow of children on the move and their needs.”   

Migrants arriving to Panama after crossing the Darien Gap are received at the Migrant Reception Station (ERM) shelter of La Peñita in Darien Province, one of the least developed provinces of Panama. They are then transported by Migration Authorities to the ERM of Los Planes in Chiriqui Province at the border with Costa Rica. Most will continue northwards, hoping to reach the U.S. or Canada.

UNICEF and its partners support national efforts to protect the rights of children on the move, while in transit through Panama. This work includes the development of local and national capacities while implementing the following interventions:

  • The provision of humanitarian supplies, nutritional screenings, pregnancy check-ups and healthcare for arriving migrants;
  • Installation of water systems bringing more than 30,000 litres of safe water per day for migrants, host communities, school and government institutions;
  • Support for improvement of sanitation conditions and hygiene practices; and
  • Establishment of child-friendly spaces where migrant and local children can play and receive psychosocial and early childhood development support, and where mothers can rest and breastfeed their babies safely.

As the number of migrant children crossing the Darien Gap is expected to rise, UNICEF will continue its presence on the ground – providing services in water and sanitation, health, and child protection for the remainder of 2020. This will help strengthen local and national capacities to respond to the needs of not only migrant children but also those who live in the host communities.

UNICEF urges governments and the international community to take immediate action to help protect all refugee and migrant children, including:

  1. Tackle the root causes driving children from their homes;
  2. Ensure access to education, healthcare and other essential services for all migrant children;
  3. Keep families together;
  4. End detention of migrant children and put in place alternative care measures;
  5. Eradicate xenophobia and discrimination; and
  6. Protect child migrants from exploitation and violence.



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No debemos dejar atrás a los migrantes en Darién: Organización para las Migraciones

Ohigginis Arcia Jaramillo
15 abr 2020 - 12:00 AM


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La pandemia del COVID-19 frena la migración irregular a Panamá en tránsito hacia EE.UU.

El director de la OIM explicó que entiende que Panamá y Costa Rica "están en negociaciones" para permitir el tránsito de los migrantes hacia el norte, aunque indicó que ve "poco probable en el corto plazo" una solución a la situación

Por EFE Servicios


Cerca de 24,000 personas de más de 50 nacionalidades, de los cuales el 16% son niños, niñas y adolescentes, cruzaron la peligrosa selva panameña en 2019. Cortesía | UNICEF

La crisis mundial por el COVID-19 frenó desde marzo pasado la llegada a Panamá de migrantes irregulares en tránsito hacia el norte del continente, dijeron este martes las autoridades del país, donde se mantienen en albergues alrededor de 2.000 de esas personas.

El Servicio Nacional de Migración (SNM) de Panamá informó de que "desde inicios del mes de marzo, cuando se cerraron las fronteras y pasos de migrantes de los países suramericanos como medidas de control del COVID-19, Panamá no ha recibido más extranjeros irregulares, que acostumbraban a ingresar por las trochas de la selva de Darién".

El Darién es la peligrosa frontera natural entre Colombia y Panamá, el país de entrada a Centroamérica, y por allí han transitado en los últimos años decenas de miles de migrantes procedentes de todo el mundo que se dirigen hacia Norteamérica, causado así crisis humanitarias periódicas en el istmo.

En ese contexto, Panamá ha levantado albergues tanto en Darién, como en Gualaca, su frontera sur, con Costa Rica, que acogen a este flujo de migrantes que había sido perenne al menos hasta marzo pasado de acuerdo con la información oficial panameña.

"El flujo ha bajado mucho desde Colombia", dijo a EFE el director Regional para Centroamérica y el Caribe de la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones (OIM), Marcelo Pisani.

Pero el cierre de las fronteras como parte de las medidas de emergencia para contener la propagación del nuevo coronavirus que provoca la enfermedad COVID-19, también ha impedido que alrededor de 2.000 migrantes extracontinentales puedan salir de Panamá.

"En el caso de los extracontinentales, ellos están en este momento en albergues en la frontera de Panamá. Se calcula que son alrededor de 2.000. En un albergue hay 360 y en otro 1.600 más o menos. Costa Rica cerró su frontera", precisó el funcionario internacional.

El director de la OIM explicó que entiende que Panamá y Costa Rica "están en negociaciones" para permitir el tránsito de los migrantes hacia el norte, aunque indicó que ve "poco probable en el corto plazo" una solución a la situación.

La Dirección de Migración de Costa Rica anunció el pasado 24 de marzo un acuerdo con Panamá para permitir el paso de 2.600 migrantes, pero debido a la crisis sanitaria internacional el convenido se suspendió y solo pudieron cruzar alrededor de un centenar, de acuerdo con datos costarricenses facilitados a EFE por fuentes oficiales.


El Servicio Nacional de Migración de Panamá informó este martes de que ha distribuido mascarillas de protección y materiales de prevención contra el COVID-19 en los albergues migratorios de Darién y Gualaca.

"A los extranjeros irregulares se les brinda orientación para la prevención de contagio del COVID-19, mientras que se les instruye sobre al uso de las mascarillas, el gel alcoholado y demás elementos que coadyuvan a mantenerlos a salvo de la pandemia", dijo la oficina panameña de Migración en un comunicado.

En estos operativos participan las fuerzas de seguridad y Ministerio de Salud "con lo que se garantiza que la enfermedad no cale en estos grupos vulnerables", añadió la autoridad migratoria de Panamá, el país más castigado por la pandemia del COVID-19 en Centroamérica con 2.100 contagios confirmados y 55 fallecidos.

El directo de la OIM dijo a EFE que una "preocupación" de este organismo internacional es que los migrantes, independientemente de su condición legal, sean incluidos en los programas de atención y ayuda que están desarrollando los gobiernos en el marco de la crisis provocada por la pandemia.

"Y nos preocupan los posibles brotes de xenofobia. Es importante considerar que los migrantes no son en sí vectores del virus (...) no hemos encontrado ningún caso" de contagio en esta población, agregó Pisani.


Moderator comment: Below is an unedited automated translation of the above news article.


The COVID-19 pandemic stops irregular migration to Panama in transit to the United States.

The director of the IOM explained that he understands that Panama and Costa Rica "are in negotiations" to allow the transit of migrants to the north, although he indicated that he sees a solution to the situation "unlikely in the short term"

By EFE Servicios
Updated 04/07/2020 16:11


Nearly 24,000 people of more than 50 nationalities, of whom 16% are children and adolescents, crossed the dangerous Panamanian jungle in 2019. Courtesy | UNICEF

The global crisis caused by COVID-19 has stopped the arrival in Panama of irregular migrants in transit to the north of the continent since last March, the country's authorities said on Tuesday, where around 2,000 of these people are kept in shelters.

The National Migration Service (SNM) of Panama reported that "since the beginning of March, when the borders and crossings of migrants from South American countries were closed as control measures of COVID-19, Panama has not received any more irregular foreigners , who used to enter through the trails of the Darien jungle. "

Darien is the dangerous natural border between Colombia and Panama, the country of entry to Central America, and in recent years tens of thousands of migrants from all over the world have been traveling to North America, thus causing periodic humanitarian crises in the isthmus.

In this context, Panama has set up shelters in both Darien and Gualaca, its southern border, with Costa Rica, which welcome this flow of migrants that had been perennial at least until last March, according to official Panamanian information.

"The flow has dropped a lot from Colombia," Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director for Central America and the Caribbean of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), told EFE.

But the closure of the borders as part of the emergency measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, has also prevented around 2,000 extra-continental migrants from leaving Panama.

"In the case of extra-continentals, they are currently in shelters on the Panama border. It is estimated that there are around 2,000. In one shelter there are 360 and in another 1,600 or so. Costa Rica closed its border," he said. the international official.

The OIM director explained that he understands that Panama and Costa Rica "are in negotiations" to allow migrants to move north, although he indicated that he sees "a solution in the short term as unlikely".

The Costa Rican Migration Directorate announced on March 24 an agreement with Panama to allow the passage of 2,600 migrants, but due to the international health crisis the agreement was suspended and only around one hundred could cross, according to Costa Rican data provided to EFE by official sources.


The National Migration Service of Panama reported on Tuesday that it has distributed protective masks and prevention materials against COVID-19 in the Darien and Gualaca migrant shelters.

"Irregular foreigners are given guidance on the prevention of COVID-19 transmission, while they are instructed on the use of masks, alcohol gel and other elements that help keep them safe from the pandemic," said the Panamanian Immigration Office in a statement.

The security forces and the Ministry of Health participate in these operations "thereby guaranteeing that the disease does not permeate these vulnerable groups," added the Panamanian immigration authority, the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in Central America with 2,100 confirmed infections and 55 deaths.

The IOM director told EFE that a "concern" of this international organization is that migrants, regardless of their legal status, are included in the care and aid programs that governments are developing in the context of the crisis caused by the pandemic.

"And we are concerned about possible outbreaks of xenophobia. It is important to consider that migrants are not themselves vectors of the virus ... we have not found any case" of contagion in this population, added Pisani.



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This last article was written April 7  (before the first one dated April 14).  That Apr 7 article states " no need for xenophobia, the migrants are not vectors ( infected) ". 

One week later,  ( April 14 ) the  COVID numbers are: 50 isolated as "possible"  and 20 more as positives.  Two migrant camps: 360 people and 1600 people..to total + 2000 people !!! 

Although increases in illegal border crossings have diminished, Panama now shelters 2000 people that are not this country's citizens.   ( This, done for humanitarian reasons.)   Currently  there is a burden to not only feed and shelter, but to keep these persons free of COVID and as well attend to them when sick with it.    Tall order.  

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42 minutes ago, Brundageba said:

This last article was written April 7  (before the first one dated April 14).  That Apr 7 article states " no need for xenophobia, the migrants are not vectors ( infected) ".

The sequencing of those two articles was just by accident. I should have been more careful, but processed them in the order in which they came to me. I don't have a lot of spare time for do-overs, and the articles from Prensa and La Estrella are very time consuming.


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No criticism of you Bud. The job you are doing for all of us here just because you care, is to be commended  !!

 No,  the point I was making is the author's caution "don't be xenophobic" as the people pose no risk as vectors.  This,  "as if"  there's no problem .  One week later it is quite clear there is a problem and it is owned by this country already strained.  Panama.

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Cientos de migrantes entran al país pese a que frontera con Colombia sigue cerrada

Según datos del Servicio Nacional de Migración, a octubre se habían registrado mil 533 nuevos migrantes.


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Flow of migrants climbs despite pandemic


Posted 17/02/2021

The irregular passage of migrants through Panama has risen despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2020, the irregular passage of 6,400 migrants was recorded up from 4,000 the previous year according to the Ombudsman's Office.

The director of the National Migration Service, Samira Gozaine, warned that the irregular flow of migrants from Colombia is further complicated because most of the arrivals do not have documents.



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US-bound migrant crisis in Darien


Posted 06/04/2021

The flow of  Haitian, African and Cuban migrants bound for  the United  States is causing a crisis in the provision of public services in the Bajo Chiquito community in Darien.

Officials of the Ombudsman's Office, who carried out an inspection of the shelters where the migrants are, reported that many children and pregnant women who require medical attention have arrived in that town presenting signs of malnutrition, and adults who also require medical attention. health care.

They specified that families made up of up to five members, including children, spend up to 10 days in the jungle without food and in danger of being attacked by criminal gangs.

Some of them first arrived in countries such as Chile, Ecuador, and Brazil, and then continued their route to Panama, showing signs of exhaustion and stress.

Between Friday and Sunday, some 700 migrants from Colombia arrived, through jungle trails, to Bajo Chiquito.

Migrants have reported that on the Colombian side there are still a large number of people with the intention of making the journey through the jungle to reach Panama and then continue on their way to the United States.

According to reports from the National Border Service (Senafront), there are currently some 2,000 migrants who — in addition to providing shelter — have had to be provided with basic services.

Senafront reported that these migrants do not want to stay in the country, but that in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic it is necessary to establish biosafety protocols so that they can continue on their way.

The Senafront has reinforced its presence in the Bajo Chiquito region with the deployment of 80 additional agents to monitor the entry of migrants.

Reports from the Ministry of Security indicate that, from January to date, as a result of the opening of the borders, more than 7,000 migrants have arrived in the country, of which 3,400 are still in the country with the intention of continuing their transit to Central America.



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8 Indians, Ecuadorian and ‘coyote’ arrested in Darien


Posted 05/05/2021

Panamanian authorities reported this Tuesday that they intercepted 8 citizens from India and one from Ecuador when they were mobilized by an alleged human trafficker or "coyote" through a sector of the Darien province, bordering Colombia.

The migrants were located in a boat that was moving 4 nautical miles off the Los Delgados sector in the Darien province, said the National Border Service (Senafront).

The illegal migrants were intercepted together with an unidentified Panamanian citizen, who was placed under the order of the Public Ministry "for the possible Crime Against Humanity in the  Smuggling of Migrants."

Last week, the Panamanian Border Police detected in a sector of the Caribbean bordering Colombia a boat with 5 Cuban migrants who were mobilized by an alleged "coyote" or human trafficker, who was detained.

Thousands of migrants from various countries are entering the border between Panama and Colombia, both through the dangerous Darien jungle and by sea, who, moved by international criminal networks, cross several South American countries and are destined for North America.  Panama reported last Friday that it signed an agreement for Colombia to expeditiously provide information on irregular migrants heading to the country, which it described as "a first step to comprehensively and responsibly address the situation" of these people. in mobility. The Panamanian Foreign Minister, Erika Mouynes, proposed on April 9 in a virtual meeting with her Colombian counterpart, Claudia Blum, an agreement that allows a controlled flow of irregular migrants, similar to the one implemented with Costa Rica in 2016, when the massive arrival of people in transit generated a humanitarian crisis on the common border.

During the first quarter of 2021, 7,150 migrants entered Panama irregularly through Darién, 4,403 in March alone, according to data from the Foreign Ministry. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), in Colombia, reports that there are more than 10,000 irregular migrants and refugees waiting to pass to Panama on their journey to North America.



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