The cry of the bishops for migrants in "the hell of Darien"


The bishops of Venezuela and Colombia warn of the situation of migrants in "one of the deadliest passages in the world".

In Latin America, from Panama to Colombia, extends a region called the Darien. This marshy area, between jungle and mountain, which serves as a natural border between the two States, is currently a deadly passage on the route of Venezuelan, Haitian and Ecuadorian migrants, to such an extent that it is now called "Hell of the Darien".

“Between 1 and 800 people arrive and leave the municipality of Necoclí every day, and we are starting to see cases of begging, theft, sexual exploitation and human trafficking,” explains Bishop Hugo Alberto Torres Marin.

Recently, the United Nations Refugee Agency in France shared on Twitter a photo of a pair of shoes that belonged to a migrant, baby shoes.

“These little shoes walked through one of the deadliest passages in the world… For the sole purpose of finding refuge. This year, 160 people crossed the Darien region, a very dangerous marshy area on the border between Colombia and Panama. »

On November 21 and 22, the bishops of Venezuela and Colombia gathered to address this migration crisis. They were able to meet migrant families on this occasion, distribute kits to migrants, but also work with representatives of local authorities, the office of the mediator, Migration Colombia, UNICEF, IOM, UNHCR, of the Colombian Red Cross, Mercy Corps and WORLD VISION.

"The community of migrants", explain the bishops, "which brings together people of different nationalities, has told us of all the vicissitudes it has to face to get to Necocli, and of the fears of going through the so-called 'hell of the Darién', because of the situations of illness, theft, violations, accidents and exploitation by those who see it as an opportunity for great economic gains, without any institutional, local or national control”.

For the Clamor Network, a Latin American church network engaged in migration, refugees, trafficking and displacement, this is “the most dangerous road in Latin America, a deadly road”. On Tuesday, November 22, the network launched a digital campaign entitled "El Darién is not a road, it's a dead end", to dissuade migrants from venturing there. He calls on migrants to reflect, "evaluate and become aware before embarking on this journey which, for many, is deadly".


Image credit: Shutterstock/ UrbanUnique

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