Number of migrants crossing dangerous Darien Gap soars: UNHCR

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UN exile bureau says fig of radical taking Panamanian jungle way tripled truthful acold this twelvemonth compared to 2021.

Published On 29 Mar 2022

The fig of radical crossing Panama’s Darien Gap, the notorious and lawless way taken by migrants and refugees trying to caput northbound to the United States, has astir tripled compared to the same play past year, according to the United Nations’ exile bureau (UNHCR).

In a statement connected Tuesday, UNHCR said 8,456 radical crossed the unsafe jungle country betwixt Colombia and Panama in the 2 archetypal months of this year, compared to 2,928 successful the archetypal 2 months of 2021.

This year’s full besides included 1,367 girls, boys and adolescents, the bureau said.

The Darien Gap, a agelong of mountainous jungle 160km (100 miles) agelong and 50km (30 miles) wide, is controlled by transgression groups known for acts of violence, including intersexual maltreatment and robbery. In bid to cross, migrants besides indispensable tackle earthy hazards.

“Many of those who marque the crossing – usually young adults and families – get successful distant indigenous communities, hungry, dehydrated, exhausted and successful request of aesculapian attention,” UNHCR’s connection read.

“Refugees and migrants of assorted nationalities person been crossing the Darien Gap for years,” it added. “However, 2021 marked a grounds successful the fig of radical who risked their lives done the dense jungle separating South and Central America.”

The caller figures travel arsenic the medication of US President Joe Biden nears a determination connected whether to extremity the usage of Title 42, a borderline regularisation imposed on the US-Mexico border that allows US authorities to rapidly expel asylum seekers backmost to Mexico, oregon to their state of origin.

The rule, archetypal imposed successful March 2020 by then-President Donald Trump citing the request to forestall the dispersed of COVID-19, has been utilized successful much than 1.7 cardinal expulsions since it was archetypal invoked.

But amid a driblet successful coronavirus infections crossed the US, and the reversal of astir pandemic-era restrictions, the Biden medication has been nether accrued unit to revoke Title 42. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to determine this week whether to widen the order.

In total, immoderate 133,000 radical made the travel done the Darien Gap successful 2021, UNHCR said.

The ample bulk were from Haiti – including Haitian children calved successful Chile and Brazil – followed by Cubans, Venezuelans and those from counties extracurricular Latin America specified arsenic Angola, Bangladesh, Ghana, Uzbekistan and Senegal. The bulk were connected the determination owed to the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR said.

Migrants going done  Darien GapAccording to UNHCR, astatine slightest 51 radical who entered the Darien Gap were reported missing oregon dormant successful 2021 unsocial [File: Fernando Vergara/AP]

In 2021 alone, at slightest 51 people who entered the Darien Gap were reported missing oregon dead, the UN bureau besides said.

It added that portion galore of the Venezuelans who are crossing had antecedently been surviving successful different big countries successful South America, an expanding fig are present leaving straight from Venezuela.

According to statistic from Panamanian authorities, the fig of Venezuelans crossing the Darien Gap successful the archetypal 2 months of 2022 – astir 2,500 radical – has astir reached the full entire for 2021, which saw 2,819 Venezuelans spell done the jungle pass.

Meanwhile, astir 7,000 migrants are being stopped crossing the US-Mexico borderline daily, US Border Patrol main Raul Ortiz said connected Tuesday, a crisp summation from February.

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Al Jazeera and quality agencies

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