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Panama's New President Promises to Close Crossing for US-Bound Migrants

  
Via:  Just Jim NC TttH  •  3 months ago  •  7 comments

By:   Jesus Mesa (Newsweek)

Panama's New President Promises to Close Crossing for US-Bound Migrants
In a bold move, Jose Luis Mulino even suggested building a barrier to curb migration through the Darien Gap, where nearly 500,000 migrants crossed last year.

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Panama's newly elected President Jose Raul Mulino has pledged to "close" the Darien Gap, a swampy jungle on the border with Colombia that serves as a major passageway for migrants heading north to the United States. Going further, Mulino even suggested the possibility of constructing a wall to curb migration.

"The border of the United States, instead of being in Texas, moved to Panama," said Mulino, who previously held the role of Minister of Security under ex-president Ricardo Martinelli. He stressed the urgency of regulating the high influx of migrants and curbing related criminal activities, including robbery and assault.

Last year alone, over half a million people, among them 113,000 children, braved the hazardous crossing— a significant rise from 24,000 in 2019. Human Rights Watch reports that migrants and asylum seekers often become victims of sexual violence while crossing the Gap.

Migrants walk by the jungle near Bajo Chiquito village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama, on September 22, 2023. Panama's newly elected President Jose Raul Mulino has pledged to "close" the...Migrants walk by the jungle near Bajo Chiquito village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama, on September 22, 2023. Panama's newly elected President Jose Raul Mulino has pledged to "close" the Darien Gap. More Luis Acosta via Getty Images

Mulino's strategy focuses on repatriating migrants and enhancing collaboration with the U.S. and Colombia to address the migration crisis comprehensively. During a recent rally, he even mentioned seeking support from former U.S. President Donald Trump to "add some cement" for the wall, should Trump return to the White House next year.

However, organizations like Human Rights Watch contend that completely closing the Gap is nearly impossible and could force migrants to choose even more perilous routes.

Mulino's campaign promises also include addressing Panama's economic struggles and restoring order at its own borders. "I am committed to ending this migratory crisis on our soil with a respect for human rights and robust international cooperation," he declared at a campaign event.

Panama's president-elect Jose Raul Mulino gives the thumb up as he speaks to supporters after winning Panama's presidential election in Panama City on May 5, 2024. Panama's president-elect Jose Raul Mulino gives the thumb up as he speaks to supporters after winning Panama's presidential election in Panama City on May 5, 2024. Martin Bernetti via Getty Images

The new president, who will assume office on July 1, faces the dual challenge of fulfilling his migration-related promises and addressing a severe drought that's affecting commerce through the Panama Canal.

The 64-year-old Mulino had nearly 35% of the votes with more than 99% of the votes counted, giving him a nine-point lead over his nearest competitor. His candidacy was unexpected — he was not the original choice of his party. The preferred candidate, Ricardo Martinelli, was disqualified due to a money laundering conviction.

Aerial view showing migrants walking through the jungle near Bajo Chiquito village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama, on September 22, 2023. The clandestine journey through the Darien Gap usually lasts...Aerial view showing migrants walking through the jungle near Bajo Chiquito village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama, on September 22, 2023. The clandestine journey through the Darien Gap usually lasts five or six days, at the mercy of all kinds of bad weather. More Luis Acosta via Getty Images

What is the 'Darien Gap'?


The Darien Gap is part a dense and swampy forest about 40 miles in width and 100 miles in length between Colombia and Panama. Known for its challenging terrain and extreme conditions, it has emerged as a key route for migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti, and even distant regions like Africa and Asia, aiming to reach the United States.

In recent years, the number of migrants crossing the Darien has exploded to half a million annually, growing exponentially since the pandemic. According to Doctors Without Borders, many migrants die in the jungle, often falling from cliffs or drowning in rivers, while others fall victim to criminal gangs that operate in the area..


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Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Just Jim NC TttH    3 months ago

But we are told that walls don't work. So I guess don't waste your time............../S

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
1.1  George  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @1    3 months ago
we are told that walls don't work.

I'm sure democrats will honor their word by not putting up any barriers around their convention in Chicago.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  George @1.1    3 months ago

And extra law enforcement.  Wonder if the terrorist supporters will show up.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2  Texan1211    3 months ago

I wonder if he obtained permission from Kamala Harris before taking such a bold move.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Principal
3  Jeremy Retired in NC    3 months ago

I can see the idiot Democrats and their lemmings calling this "election interference" and somehow connect it to a specific person.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4  Ronin2    3 months ago

Sad when Panama cares more about our borders than Brandon does.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
5  Sean Treacy    3 months ago

That's the type of foreign aid we should be investing in. 

 
 

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