President Cortizo will meet today by telephone with Colombian President Gustavo Petro

Presidents Laurentino Cortizo and Gustavo Petro, of Panama and Colombia, respectively, will hold their first bilateral meeting by telephone on Tuesday.

The appointment with Cortizo is outlined among the first conversations that Petro will hold with his counterparts, after his recent swearing-in last Sunday. The reason is that Petro wants to address the border issue in the first 100 days of government as one of the most urgent topics to attend to, according to the outlined roadmap. Border migration with Panama and Venezuela is at the top of the list of issues for the newly installed leftist government in Colombia.

According to a publication in the newspaper La Estrella de Panamá, a Colombian source highlighted that during the binational call the leaders will address four specific issues: migratory mobility on the Colombian-Panamanian border, security, economy and climate change.

In addition to the first introductory call between the two presidents, a bilateral coordination meeting has been scheduled for the end of August, according to the source, precisely in anticipation of the months of greatest migratory influx, which are September, October and November.

Panama has asked Colombia for a record of the data of each migrant who crosses the Darien jungle bound for Panama, to confirm how many manage to survive the dangerous trail through the Darien jungle. However, the Panamanian authorities have complained about the little response from their peers.

Another pending point is to dose the number of migrants, 500 per day as specified in the agreement between the two nations, to avoid the lack of control registered during 2021 when 2,000 to 2,500 migrants daily arrived in Bajo Chiquito, after passing through the jungle.

Petro’s team is interested in establishing a humanitarian corridor that will reduce the rates of violence and provide legal assistance in a timely manner, identify migrants and regulate the flow.

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