Migrant traffic down 50% in two weeks

834Views 0Comments Posted 27/05/2023


The transit of irregular migrants through the Darién jungle between Colombia and Panama has decreased by 50% during the last two weeks, as confirmed by National Migration Service (SMN) and the Ombudsman's Office.

Fifteen days ago, the daily average number of migrants arriving in the country through the Darien Gap was 1,500 and this week it is at 750, according to the latest SNM report. There was even one day, (May 21, when only 142 migrants passed through.

In total, so far this year, 162,308 migrants have crossed the jungle, of which 49% are from Venezuela.

According to the Ombudsman, Eduardo Leblanc, they have been informed from Colombia that, specifically in the Municipality of Necoclí, the number of migrants who buy a ticket to take a boat that transports them to Capurganá, to then reach Darién, has decreased.

“We are waiting more time to determine if this is a consequence of inclement weather [rain] or US immigration policies,” he said.

Once Title 42 expired and Title 8 entered into force, on May 11, the US State Department announced that Panama, Colombia, and the United States reached a historic agreement to launch a 60-day campaign, given the unprecedented migration that is registered through the dangerous Darien corridor.

The campaign aims to dismantle criminal networks that facilitate the illicit displacement of people and increase the state's presence in the jungle. As authorities retake control of this region and root out criminal actors, migrants are urged to wait and seek safe, orderly, and lawful pathways, including those options announced when Title 42 ended.

This week, the United States embassy in Panama reported that it donated 63 Jeep vehicles valued at $8 million to the country's security forces, for border and maritime operations.

The United States ambassador in Panama, Mari Carmen Aponte,said the jeeps are the largest donation of vehicles that the US  has made to Panama to date.