Colombia Ignores Request from Costa Rica and Panama to Close the Darién Due to Migration Crisis

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    The Colombian Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to the request of Costa Rica and Panama to close the passage through the Darien Jungle to mitigate the crisis of Venezuelan migrants who are moving by the thousands towards the United States.

    This was stated this past Thursday by Costa Rican Foreign Minister Arnoldo André Tinoco in a hearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Legislative Assembly. “Colombia to date has not met this requirement from Costa Rica and Panama, but we will continue to insist,” he said.

    Going to the origin

    The minister explained that, given the large number of Venezuelan migrants heading to the north of the continent, it was decided to put pressure on Colombia. “You have to go to the origin of the migratory flow and attend to those organized criminal groups that move people,” he said.

    “We did nothing by putting pressure on Panama or closing the border to Panama to stop the migratory flow, because what Panama does is pass the migrants it receives from Colombia, so we had to go further down,” he said.

    The objective is “to seek global protection of the Darién plug because it is not an orderly, regular and authorized migration step”, also taking into account that “it is an international protected area and declared a world heritage site”.

    The foreign minister added this diplomatic effort to others that he has made in international summits and meetings with US, Colombian and Panamanian authorities, among others, in order to find a solution to the migration problem.

    Not financially sustainable

    He also explained that the Government is “concerned” that “the main consequence” of this phenomenon is the agglomeration of migrants at the borders, because “this is not financially sustainable for Costa Rica.”

    In his opinion, the action should be “collective” because “we require support from the international community” and because “we run the risk of the crisis increasing” due to various factors, such as “local conditions running out” to attend these people.

    Other factors that could aggravate the crisis are that there are already “rejection policies in force” in countries receiving these migrants, and that “transit limitations” have also been established in other Central American countries.

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