A 6-year-old Venezuelan boy died and 2 people were injured during an “assault” on a group of migrants in transit to North America in an area of Darién, the dangerous jungle that serves as a natural border between Panama and Colombia, authorities reported Wednesday. Panamanian.
The National Border Service (Senafront) of Panama said in a statement that the event took place in the Tres Bocas area, in the province of Darién, when “a group of migrants were assaulted by people with a foreign accent in combination with indigenous Panamanians. “.
The attack left “a child of approximately 6 years dead, and an adult woman and man injured,” the security agency said.
The Public Ministry (MP, Prosecutor’s Office) of Panama, reported for its part that the minor killed in the assault was 6 years old and was of Venezuelan nationality.
The victims of this event “were rescued, evacuated and transferred to a hospital where they receive medical care,” according to information from the border security agency.
The Senafront reported that it found a 380-caliber weapon and illicit substances during the operation activated to search for those responsible for the assault, whom it is still looking for.
The Darién jungle is considered one of the most dangerous migratory routes in the world, both because of its wild environment and because of the presence of armed groups and organized crime that have used it for decades to illegally traffic drugs, weapons and people.
It is not known with certainty how many people have died in the Darién in the midst of the current wave of migration. Migrants report that travelers lose their lives due to falls or injuries, because they simply cannot continue because they are sick or weak, drowned in swollen rivers, or at the hands of criminals.
Last July, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned that so far this year 192 migrants had died during their transit through Central America and Mexico, for which they renewed his call to governments to preserve life and protect the rights of people in mobility.
Until last August, a total of 102,067 irregular migrants arrived in Panama after crossing the jungle, which suggests that this year the historical figure of 133,726 travelers in 2021 will be exceeded.
While last year the vast majority of irregular migrants were Haitians, this 2021 Venezuelans are the ones who cross the most, all bound for North America, especially the United States.
Panama welcomes irregular travelers in migratory reception stations (ERM) located on its border with Colombia (south) and Costa Rica (north), where they take their biometric data and receive food and medical attention, in a unique operation in the region that consumes millions of dollars a year, as the government has said.