Rising Numbers Of Migrants Risk Lives Crossing Darien Gap

Migrants cross the Acandi River on their journey north, near Acandi, Colombia, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. The migrants, mostly Haitians, are on their way to crossing the Darien Gap from Colombia into Panama dreaming of reaching the U.S. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

(AP) — As borders open around the world after months of pandemic related lockdowns some illegal migration routes are also seeing an uptick in crossings.

Muddy paths across the Darien jungle, where people can be swept away by rivers, have long been used by smugglers to take migrants from South America to Central America, as they make their way to the U.S. Panamanian immigration officials say the number of people crossing the Darien Gap has reached record levels, with 70,000 migrants making the dangerous trek so far this year, and registering at shelters in Panama.

Most of those currently crossing the Darien are Haitians who were living in Brazil and Chile and were left with little work due to the pandemic.


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