UPDATED 3:30 PM PT – Sunday, October 17, 2021
Migrants remain stuck on a Northern Colombian beach town as they hope to continue their difficult journey to Mexico and the U.S.
Haitian and Venezuelan migrants have been waiting to enter Panama’s Darien Gap, a treacherous jungle region where many have died attempting to make the crossing. As the situation on the Caribbean Coast escalates, an official for Colombia has urged for better safety measures.
“From the Ombudsman’s Office we had warned and requested the Uraba Coast Guard station to reinforce control measures, especially for illegal boats that leave at dawn to cross the Gulf of Uraba. We demand the authorities to investigate the possible omissions to this request and to take measures, so these types of tragedies do not occur again,” stressed Ombudsman Carlos Camargo.
“It is precisely children and adolescents, pregnant women and nursing mothers with babies who are the main ones affected by this migration crisis.”
Meanwhile, one Venezuelan migrant highlighted their time waiting to purchase a ticket to be able to leave.
“I have not been able to leave. I have already been here for two months because they do not want to sell tickets to Venezuelans, neither as migrants nor as tourists, and the only boats that leave from here, apart from those of the [private] company, are illegal boats,” said Samuel Quevedo.
Additionally, officials said the lifting of border closures that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic has been a main contributor to the rise in migrants. They’ve also estimated nearly 1,000 migrants have been arriving in Necocli daily.