Apartado (Agenzia Fides) - The region of El Darién, also known as Tapòn del Darién and Darién Forest, covers some areas in the province of Panama (Panama) and north of the department of Chocó (Colombia). The wild and swampy area between jungle, rivers and mountains is difficult to access and used by migrants from South America (mainly Venezuelans) on their way to the United States.
With the exponential increase in migrants in transit, Bishop Hugo Alberto Torres Marín of the Colombian Diocese of Apartadó has already warned that a "humanitarian crisis" is looming in the Urabá and Darién areas. Between 1,800 and 2,100 people pass through the municipality of Necoclí every day. The efforts and actions of the government and organizations in support of the refugee population and the civilian population are no longer sufficient, which is why the Bishop calls for the implementation of an emergency plan (see Fides, 14/10/2022).
Faced with the worsening of the situation, the church network "Red Clamor", which works on behalf of migrants and refugees and the fight against human trafficking and displacement, yesterday launched the online campaign "El Darién no es el camino, es un tapón". It wants to show, with the help of its teams working in the region, that this is the "most dangerous route in Latin America, a deadly route", which nevertheless does not seem to stop thousands of migrants who are moving along this route in search of new opportunities for a better life.
Red Clamor therefore expressly calls on migrants to "think, evaluate and be aware before embarking on this deadly journey for many". The aim of the digital campaign is to make "everyone who is considering embarking on this deadly journey" aware of the dangers and to make them think.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the total number of people who have transited the region this year has almost tripled compared to the same period last year: from 2,928 in the first two months of 2021 to 8,456 in the same period of the year 2022. This year there are also 1,367 children and young people. The beginning of the massive emigration of Venezuelans from their country dates back to 2002. According to observers, five migration waves have followed since then, which can be traced back to political, economic, insecure and violent factors. This is the largest migratory and humanitarian crisis ever recorded in Latin America. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 18/10/2022)