PANAMA CITY, Panama (Reuters) – The United States, Panama, and Colombia have announced a joint two-month campaign against illegal immigration in the Darien Gap – the jungle area separating Colombia from Panama.
In a joint press release, the three governments stated that the campaign is aimed at ending the illegal movement of goods and people through the region. It also aims to open up other migration routes for people.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas met with Panamanian Foreign Ministry Janaina Tewaney, and her Colombian counterpart Alvaro Leyva Duran. Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary in Panama City, discussed the challenges posed by the increased number of illegal crossings across the Darien.
According to official Panamanian migration data, there were more than 6 times as many illegal crossings of the Darien Gap during the first three month period in 2023.
Officials of the three countries have also committed to implementing a plan that will reduce poverty, and create economic and sustainable opportunities for border communities.