Haiti - Social : Panama faces a Haitian migration crisis - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Social : Panama faces a Haitian migration crisis
24/05/2019 11:30:26

Haiti - Social : Panama faces a Haitian migration crisis
This week Juan Carlos Varela, the President of Panama, revealed that his country was going through a "critical" period due to a flow of more than 4,000 mostly Haitian irregular migrants attempting to travel to North America who were located in the province of Darién, border with Colombia and in Prode Chiriqui, border with Costa Rica...

He recalled that in 2016 Panama had faced a transit movement on its territory of more than 28,000 irregular migrants and he said he expected that this year the number will be even more important.

Faced with these incessant arrivals of migrants, Panama and Costa Rica have decided to jointly implement a program called "Controlled Flows" which is a process of health and biometric verification, allowing to compare information with US and foreign databases in order to define on the one hand the profile of these people before triggering or not an immigration alert and fight at the same time at the same time against traffickers of people.

Juan Carlos Varela said that the majority of these migrants had come from Colombia through illegal passes or paths in the inhospitable and dangerous Panamanian jungle until their arrival in Darién. Despite this, he does not envisage a closure between the natural border saying that "Closing the border with Colombia would be tantamount to threatening the lives of those people who risk their lives in the jungle [...] We received them in Bajo Chiquito and La Peñita, two centers located in Darién, then we transferred them to Gualaca, where we delivered them to the authorities of Costa Rica."

In addition, he said that irregular migrants who have an anomaly in the controls will be sent to safe detention camps, before being deported to their country of origin.

SL/ HaitiLibre

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