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Panama closes 2022 with increasing number of irregular migrants


Panama closes 2022 with increasing number of irregular migrants

Panama City, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina) The director of the National Migration Service (SNM) of Panama, Samira Gozaine, confirmed that 2022 will close with the passing through the country of more than 245,000 irregular travelers on their way to the United States.

In statements to the press, the official informed that the current movement of migrants through the Darien jungle is increasing and in the last two days more than 1,000 people have entered the country, when the average was 500.

According to Gozaine, up to mid-December, 100,000 more people entered the country than in 2021, when 133,716 used this route.

She also added that the migratory crisis has cost Panama some 50 million dollars.

On the migration policies that Panama will be taking for 2023, Gozaine said that the Foreign Ministry is being aggressive with the issue that Darien is a protected park since 1988 by Unesco and that the ecological damage that the jungle is receiving is considerable.

On the other hand, they have intensified confrontation and denouncement at international level of the human trafficking that is taking place in this crossing, in which the travelers pay up to 15,000 dollars to be taken to the United States.

Regarding the “Firmeza” operation, in which six SNM officials were arrested, she affirmed that the investigation will continue its course and will go until the last consequences.

Analysts associate this issue with the trip, the day before to the United States of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, Janaina Tewaney, who will meet today in Washington with the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

Tewaney traveled accompanied by Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Federico Alfaro, and both will return to the country on Thursday.

Tewaney and Alfaro were also on an official mission to the northern country between the 29th. of November and the 2nd. of December last, in order to address issues such as migration, fight against drug trafficking and money laundering, the Chancellor reported.


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