Panama sees staggering increase in asylum seekers from neighboring countries


The number of asylum seekers and refugees in Panama increased by 60.23% in 2017 compared to the figure registered the previous year, reported the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR ).

According to the data provided by the National Office of Attention to Refugees in the isthmus (ONPAR) , the total number of applications submitted to the Panamanian Government during the past year was 5 thousand 584, compared to 3 thousand 485 processed in 2016 and the thousand 830 of 2015.

In total, there are 2 thousand 432 refugees in Panama. The pending cases of resolution, which have not yet received a positive or negative response and that accumulate over time, increased progressively in the last three years. In 2015 there were 2,934 applications, while in 2017 7,297 were completed.

Of that total, most of the asylum applications are from citizens of Venezuela . In total, 3,687 Venezuelans sought asylum from Panama after escaping the greatest social and economic crisis in its history. A figure that, according to sociologists, will increase considerably during the next months after the fraudulent victory of Nicolás Maduro in an election whose sole purpose was to perpetuate the failed political-economic model imposed by Hugo Chávez almost two decades ago.


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