President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, said on Tuesday that the number of Africans who arrive illegally in the country has increased, so he contacted other governments in the region to seek joint solutions.
According to the Panamanian leader, irregular migrants enter Panama by different routes through the Darien jungle border with Colombia.
It’s a pity because they are using Darien areas that are unsuitable for transit and the amount (of migrants) has increased,”
However, the Panamanian president warned that while many of these migrants identified as Congolese,
everything indicates that many of them could actually come from Haiti.”
Varela, who did not give exact figures, acknowledged that these people cannot be mass-deported because many of them travel without documents or try to deceive the authorities about their origins.
In recent weeks, hundreds of Haitian, Congolese, Senegalese and Ghanaian migrants have crammed hostels in Costa Rica, because Nicaragua does not allow them access on their way to the United States.
In Costa Rica, many migrants who identify themselves as Congolese and Senegalese do not know details about the country they allegedly come from and communicate in a language that suggests they are really Haitians who prefer to hide their nationality for fear of being deported to their country.
Most of them worked in Brazil for several years until its economy deteriorated and decided to go to the United States, which seems less risky than Europe, according to experts.
Mauricio Boraschi, head of the Costa Rican prosecution against smuggling of migrants, recently said he had reports that there are groups coming from Brazil, Colombia and Panama, a phenomenon similar to the one lived months ago with the entry of Cuban migrants trying to reach the U.S.