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Irregular migrant traffic through Panama increases

Panama City, May 23 (Prensa Latina) Panama's National Migration Service (SNM) informed on Thursday that 158,747 irregular travelers have crossed Panama on their way to the United States.

According to the report, the increasing flows indicate that in May only, 19,480 travelers arrived in the dangerous Darien jungle bordering Colombia.

The SNM stated that most illegal travelers come from Venezuela, Ecuador, and Haiti; it is also worrisome that about 30,000 are children.

The authorities are implementing the “Controlled Flow” operation while maintaining in parallel the communication campaign “Darien is not a road, it is a jungle” to discourage irregular migrants from risking their lives while passing through the area.

More than 520,000 people crossed that route in 2023. If it continues, it could reach 800,000 in 2024.

In their first public speeches, Panama’s President-elect Jose Raul Mulino, who will take office on July 1, and designated Security Minister Frank Abrego have promoted closing the border and deporting irregular migrants to their countries of origin.