Panama says more migrants crossing Darien Gap this year

June 23, 2022 GMT

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama’s security minister said Wednesday the number of migrants crossing the dangerous Darien Gap has grown substantially.

Juan Manuel Pino said that so far this year, 46,415 migrants have been registered, compared to 26,216 detected in the same period of 2021.

That year, a total of 133,000 migrants passed through Panama, suggesting that this year’s total will be even higher. The majority of the migrants in 2021 were from Haiti, while authorities estimate the largest group this year are Venezuelans.

The government of Panama has approved $4.9 million in funding to feed the migrants.

The roadless, jungle-clad Darien Gap runs between Colombia and Panama. Plagued by wild animals, swollen rivers, rough terrain and thieves, the gap claims many lives.