PANAMA (AP) — Panamanian ministers from various departments visited Darien province on Friday to assess the environmental damage caused by thousands of migrants crossing the region’s dangerous jungle in an attempt to reach the United States, ahead of an expected announcement. Measures to restrict movement of people like never before.
Officials led by Defense Minister Juan Manuel Pino reiterated the national claim that “some countries of the South have turned their backs on the problem,” and Panama faced the situation with responsibility and commitment. But, “everything has a limit.
So far this year, more than 250,000 migrants have crossed the inhospitable jungle known as the Darien Cape, mainly from Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti and Africa. 2,500 to 3,000 people enter the forest every day. Chinese nationals have also increased this year.
Panama has pointed out that neighbors such as Colombia, with which it shares a forest border, have not helped control the migrant traffic, which has exceeded the Central American country’s capabilities.
Another concern of Panamanian authorities is the environmental impact of hundreds of thousands of people crossing the jungle.
The minister did not provide details on specific measures as announced by the Panamanian government a few days ago. He said that he had to take them to the Cabinet and that was why the ministers had traveled to Darien.
“All possibilities are on the table because the impact we have here in Darien is so great.”
Recently, director of the National Migration Service, Samira Gosain, said there had been The time has come to establish “rules and regulations”. The possibility of border closure was also hinted at.
For his part, Environment Minister Milciades Concepción, who was included in the tour, said he was shocked by the damage caused by the Darien Forest, a protected area and the largest natural park in all of Central America. Beyond the Colombian border.
He said the amount of waste left by the migrants and the eroded land was worrying. “This has huge negative environmental impacts in the protected area; Panama must make a decision because we, as the Minister of the Environment, are deeply affected,” he noted.
He also said that pollution caused by people’s traffic affects the water resources used by tribal communities for consumption.
Migrants passing through the Darien have been going on for more than two decades, but the phenomenon has risen in recent years, largely as a sign of economic decline in their countries. Panama has earmarked more than $60 million In recent years, according to authorities, attention has been paid to all people who enter irregularly.
Meanwhile, Social Development Minister María Inés Castillo said she was “shocked” by the 60,000 children who have passed through the Darién forest so far this year.
“Just today we saw two-month-old, seven-month-old babies who were lucky enough to come and stay with their parents,” the headline emphasized. “We lost a lot of children along the way who come without parents and need to be supported,” he said.
The tour took place in the remote towns of Cañas Blanca, Bajo Chiquito and Lajas Blancas, the defense ministry said in a statement, which receive communities where migrants arrive after days of trekking through the dense Darien forest.
The tour, he noted, assessed the impact of irregular migration on communities and the impact on water resources and pollution caused by the massive dumping of garbage in the Darien Forest.