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Colombia doesn’t believe ‘Darien plug’ is solution to migration crisis

New York, September 18 (EFE).- Colombian President Gustavo Petro assured this Monday that the position of closing the border between Colombia and Panama – whose edge is marked by the dense and mountainous jungle of the Darien gap – will be stopped. Increasing the migration flow is “not effective”.

“There is a position which is repression, closing the borders. In the case of the Darién plug, it is a plug, which is quite difficult (…) I believe that this position is not the most effective,” the president assured the media from New York, where he is to participate. 78th UN General Assembly.

In a meeting with Colombian residents in New York on Sunday, he suggested that “the political forces in this country (US) asked us to join as if it were easy; that we build a sort of wall to keep people out of the United States; They asked us to somehow cross the border between Mexico and the United States at their immigration points so that immigration posts could be set up in Colombia,” which the US government denied.

The president, whose government has not taken any concrete steps to address the humanitarian crisis at the border, where more than 350,000 people – mostly Venezuelans – have already crossed, believes problems in the countries of origin must be addressed to reduce the flow. .

“We are trying to effectively reduce the flow of people from around the world through this supplement and create prosperity in their countries of origin.” Prosperity is the best way to end migration,” the president said on Monday.

To do so, he once again insisted on unlocking Venezuela as a solution to the “exile” and specifically the “gradual release of funds.”

“We requested that through the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) the money owned by Venezuela in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) be processed, the so-called special drawing rights, to start the $5,000 million. Better well-being for the population in Venezuela, which will allow the flow of the Darien to be substantially reduced,” he noted. A meeting with Panama

Petro will meet his Panamanian counterpart Laurentino Cortizo this Tuesday to resolve the issue, after the neighboring country’s government has repeatedly accused Colombia of inaction amid the crisis at the border, where an average of 3,000 people cross the jungle every day.

During their transit through this mountainous jungle, which can last a week, they face natural dangers such as river flooding, slippery rocks, lack of food and drinking water or animal bites, but also criminal gangs – led by the migrant-trafficking Clan del Golfo. On the Colombian side – and assaults and rapes by gangs.

In a speech at the Group of 77 and China (G77+China) meeting in Cuba on Saturday, Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tevaney asked – as did Colombia – for more coordination to implement an “effective migration policy”. “And realistic” that guarantees the rights of hundreds of thousands of people who cross the Darien jungle.

“Please, Darien is not a route and it cannot be,” the Chancellor of Panama said, stressing that this year alone Panama expects 400,000 to 500,000 people to cross the Darien jungle on their way to the United States, and that so far this year your country has four times as many received more migrants than in the five-year period.

Source: El Diario





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