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News > Panama

Panama Received 5,472 Irregular Migrants in 2021 First Quarter

  • Migrants at a reception center in Paso Canoas, Panama, Feb. 5, 2021.

    Migrants at a reception center in Paso Canoas, Panama, Feb. 5, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 May 2021

The largest number of migrants came from the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central America.

Panama's National Migration Service (SNM) warned of the increase in irregular migration flows through the Colombian border, where 5,472 migrants entered the country in the first quarter of this year.


Over 10,000 Migrants Long for Entering Panama From Colombia

The Darien province is the most affected zone as at least 48 percent of migrants were intercepted in this territory in March. The figures also showed that 1,001 migrant minors arrived in the country from Colombia.

Broken down by region, the largest number of migrants came from the Caribbean (4,007), South America (640), Africa (531), Asia (270), Europe (19), and Central America (5).

Forecasts show that the spike will continue due to the economic crisis and unemployment generated by the pandemic and violence rates in the countries of origin. 

The SNM announced the construction of a migration camp in Darien to host temporarily 544 migrants. The facility will alleviate overcrowding in other locations, such as in the Gualaca shelter located in the Chiriqui province.

Authorities lamented that international criminal networks promote irregular passing in the "dangerous" Darien jungle where no overland routes exist. 

Irregular migration flows have been usual in this Central American nation in the last decade, peaking in 2016 when figures rose to over 30,000 migrants.

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