Panama announces plan to slow down migrant crossings through the Darién Gap

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Samira Gozo, director of Panama’s National Migration Institute (INM), held a press conference on Friday with Security Minister Juan Manuel Pino, to explain plans for increasing border control and surveillance, both on land and air. They stated that Panama would increase deportations as the flow of migrants increases. The measures will apply at airports, and will be used at the discretion of border officers. Over 450 foreigners were deported so far. Panama is looking at reducing from 90 days to 15 the amount of time that foreigners with criminal histories are allowed to remain in the country. It is also implementing more frequent checks to stop and target

s in the jungle. UN reports that over 350,000 migrants crossed the Darien Gap, a jungle connecting Panama and Colombia. It is a rise of 100,000 migrants since 2022. The country has been accused of a hostile attitude towards the migrant issue. The UN urges states to focus on human rights solutions and not anti-migrant narratives, while also strengthening protection. Climate change, economic insecurity, political tension and violence are factors that are forcing migrants from Venezuela, Ecuador, and Haiti to try to reach the US-Mexico Border through South America.