March 4, 2024

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Venezuelans are stranded in Darien

Venezuelans are stranded in Darien

The new immigration policy has left thousands of Venezuelans stranded.

Last week, the U.S. government introduced a plan that would grant legal status for two years to Venezuelans who arrive by air and immediately deport those who cross the Mexican border by land. Nationality.

The program does not include those who entered irregularly through Panama, such as those who passed through Darien, Mexico, and those who have been deported within the past five years.

The decision has left thousands of migrants who have crossed the jungle ahead of the US government’s announcement confused.

In the Panamanian tribal town of Bajo Chiquito, where weary migrants are arriving across the Darien Gap, the latest news is still a “rumor”.

There is no telecommunications signal in Bajo Chiquito, so there is no way to check messages. The National Border Service (Senafront), the special military security force that guards Panama’s borders, should not be given information.

His role, expanded from his original duties, was to provide safety and security — a form of humanitarian aid — to the thousands of irregular migrants who break through the jungles daily.

In Bajo Chiquito, an average of 1,500 migrants arrive daily, but there are more than 2,000 a day. So far this year, 187,644 trekkers have crossed the forest on both its routes.

The majority (more than 70%) are from Venezuela, but also from Haiti, Bangladesh, India, Somalia, Colombia and the Philippines, according to data provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

This feat and the much higher numbers compared to previous years led Panamanian authorities to formally request aid from across the continent.

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After walking from Colombia through the Darien for two days – very fast – within six days, the immigrants arrive in the small town dirty, wet, shivering (from fear and fever), sick and desperate.

Their hope is to escape the “hunger that’s killing them” and go to the United States to “work” in Venezuela, a country that “hurts” them to find themselves mired in crisis with no light at the end of the tunnel.

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