Panama finds 10 bodies, including two children, of possible Haitian migrants on the dangerous Darien route

Panama finds 10 bodies, including two children, of possible Haitian migrants on the dangerous Darien route

The Prosecutor’s Office of Panama reported on Friday the discovery of ten bodies, including two children, presumably Haitian Migrants who lost their lives during their journey on foot through the dangerous jungle of the Darien from Colombia, en route to the United States.

“They are presumed to be migrants, because within the investigations a Haitian citizen mentioned that in the Tuquesa River there was a flood due to the rain that dragged nine people” who were reported missing, said the Darien regional prosecutor Julio Vergara.

“We presume that these corpses that we have found are related to what was warned by this migrant”, he detailed. in addition, the bones of a tenth person were found in the area.

The bodies were found by the authorities in the vicinity of the Tuquesa and Canaán Membrillo rivers, in an Emberá Wounaán indigenous region, in the south of Panama. None had documents.

So far this year 41 bodies of migrants have been found on the banks of the rivers, along the route they travel to cross the border between Panama and Colombia. The causes of these deaths have been due to drowning and heat stroke, the Prosecutor’s Office reported.

Since September, the Panamanian and Colombian authorities have validated the daily controlled access of a maximum of 650 migrants, mostly Haitians, who have fled a country hit in the last decade by an economic crisis and a recent political crisis.

Most come from South America, where they migrated several years ago but were unable to legalize their stay or were unemployed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

They plan to travel through Central America to Mexico and then to the United States, in search of better living conditions. Washington has already warned that it will not allow their entry and has deported hundreds of them.

Currently, about 19,000 migrants are stranded in a port in northern Colombia, waiting to board boats to take them to the border with Panama.

Travelers must cross the Gulf of Urabá, a sea stretch of about 60 kilometers.

Once in Panama, they must cross the dangerous Darien jungle on foot, a journey that takes at least five days, exposed to rapes, assaults and wild animals. Between January and August, more than 70,000 people have made that journey.

The first town they meet is the indigenous village of Bajo Chiquito. Then they continue to Costa Rica.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.