Panama sees massive jump of unlawful migration in 2021


PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – A file wave of unauthorized migrants entered Panama this yr from Colombia, in response to authorities knowledge offered to Reuters on Thursday, as a surge of principally Haitians entered the Central American nation in path to the United States.

Through mid-December, 126,675 unlawful migrants had entered Panama after crossing the Darien Gap, a distant stretch of jungle on the border between Panama and Colombia, in response to the newest safety ministry knowledge.

The 2021 determine marks a massive jump in comparison with the earlier yr, when lower than 9,000 migrants crossed into Panama from Colombia with out authorized authorization.

In truth, the 2021 wave of migrants is larger that the mixed determine of the earlier 11 years, when a complete of round 118,000 unlawful migrants crossed into Panama from Colombia, in response to official knowledge.

Record numbers of migrants have been apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border this yr, largely comprised of Central Americans in addition to Haitians who fled excessive poverty, gangland violence and pure disasters in their dwelling international locations.

Panamanian Security Minister Juan Pino stated earlier this week that he expects to pattern to proceed, due in giant half to pandemic-related financial hardships.

(Reporting by Milagro Vallecillos; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Sandra Maler)

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