In recent years, thousands of people left their homeland to seek new horizons. The reasons for mass migrations are several: social conflicts, internal conflicts, war with another country or the need to find a place to live with dignity. Migration crises involve thousands of people, even families, who do not hesitate to risk their lives seeking to improve their lives.
The Darien Gap is one of the main points most used by mass migrations
In recent times, the number of migrants who crossed the dangerous Darien Gap, which links South America with Central America, broke all records. According to the immigration authorities of Panama, so far in 2023, the number of migrants who used that crossing exceeded the total for 2022. More than 320,000 people have already crossed it. The most alarming thing is that 20% of these people are adolescents and children.
Most of these people are Haitians and Venezuelans. They are followed in number by Colombians, Ecuadorians and some from Africa and Asia. The goal of all of them is to reach the United States or Canada in search of a better life. In May 2023, the Trump administration lifted the entry restriction and since that moment, the number of migrants has increased significantly.
However, the thousands of people who cross the impassable Darien Gap cannot do it alone; Consequently, they must hire a guide to achieve their goal. In this way, the well-known “coyotes,” in exchange for large sums of money, “help” to cross the jungle full of dangers.
The high flow of migrants generated a health crisis in the region due to overcrowded conditions, according to an alert from Doctors Without Borders. There are a high number of wounded and sick people suffering from, among the most common ailments, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems and fever, as well as lacerations, trauma and injuries, as a result of the dangerous attempts to cross the dense jungle.
The number of people who die or disappear within Darien is unknown. These people are exposed to attacks by wild animals, armed groups, abandonment by guides and even sexual violence. Likewise, at other points they face different dangers, such as sailing in improvised boats that run the risk of sinking.
Migration crises in the world
This problem affects different countries around the world; for example, the arrival of 8 thousand Tunisian migrants to the island of Lampedusa in Italy. However, it is not the first time that migrants arrive on the island; What makes this situation more complex is the number of people involved. Consequently, Italy requested help from the European Union to cope with the situation.
The figures shared by the UN about these displacements are alarming:
- 82 million people migrated due to forced displacement
- 80% of migrants worldwide move due to malnutrition or hunger
- One in five displaced women suffered sexual abuse or gender violence
Two thirds of the migrants come from Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, Tunisia, South Sudan or Myanmar. The crisis in Syria alone displaced more than 13 million people, equivalent to one-sixth of the world’s population.
Migration crises are complex phenomena that require collaborative and comprehensive approaches. The solution involves international cooperation, respect for human rights and an equitable approach to the distribution of responsibilities. The search for sustainable solutions is essential to address this global challenge effectively.