Nearly 250,000 migrants crossed treacherous Darien in 2022


PANAMA CITY — Nearly 250,000 migrants crossed the perilous Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama in 2022 on their way north, a number that is nearly double from a year earlier, the International Organization for Migration said today. Tuesday.

At least 36 migrants have died during the journey, but the United Nations migration agency says the real number is likely higher because some of those who perished in the depths of the forest were never found.

By 2021, at least 133,000 migrants — mostly Haitian — have crossed the Darien River, according to Panamanian data. Last year, Venezuelans dominated the flow with more than 150,000 crossings. Panamanian authorities say they still have no data on intersections for the first two weeks of January.

“The stories we have heard from people who have crossed the Darien Gap attest to the horrors of this journey,” said Giuseppe Loprete, IOM’s mission chief in Panama. “Many people have died or gone missing, while others are out there with serious health problems, both physical and mental, that we and our partners are dealing with.”

The unprecedented numbers come as the US government tries to make the journey less appealing. In October, the administration of President Joe Biden agreed to accept up to 24,000 Venezuelan migrants at US airports if they pre-register via the government website but said those who crossed the border illegally would be subject to a fine. return to Mexico.


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