The US and Colombia agree to a conference to address Venezuelan migration through the Darién

The US and Colombia agree to a conference to address Venezuelan migration through the Darién

Both the United States and Colombia express their concern about the increase in the migratory flow through the Darién during 2022, despite the fact that it has decreased since Washington implemented a migratory control mechanism to receive the Venezuelan community

The governments of the United States and Colombia will convene a Latin American conference to address the “challenge” represented by migratory flows in the hemisphere, with the Venezuelan diaspora as the protagonist of this phenomenon. Through this meeting they intend to establish “rules of the game”.

“In the first quarter of 2023 we will hold a Latin American continental conference that will deal with migration to establish rules that will be binding on everyone,” Colombian Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva said in a joint statement with the United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, who visited the Andean country this Friday.

Despite the fact that Leyva stressed that it will be a Latin American conference, Mayorkas assured that the idea is “to get us all together and make sure that everyone participates to develop a solution for what is called a collective challenge.”

“We have to respect the human rights of individuals seeking refuge and at the same time we have to comply with the laws of our respective countries,” said Mayorkas, who argued that their governments seek “the protection of people and at the same time create an opportunity for them so that they remain in the countries where they are and can build a successful and prosperous life.

*Read also: The “Venezuelan invasion” in North America is necessary for the US economy

Mayorkas arrived in Colombia from Ecuador on an Andean visit where he sought to deepen cooperation to deal with irregular immigration through the Darién, after the signing of the Los Angeles Declaration on migration last June during the Summit of the Americas.

This announcement comes at the end of a year in which all records have been broken for people, mostly Venezuelans, who have crossed the dangerous Darien jungle, which separates Colombia and Panama, towards the United States.

Between January and November, according to the Panamanian authorities, they have passed through the Darién Gap, where migrants have to walk for more than five days through a mountainous jungle where there are criminal gangs, almost 228,000 people, of whom almost 150,000 are Venezuelans.

Migration flows, which exceeded 48,000 people in September, have fallen sharply in recent months, after the United States Government announced a new immigration policy on October 12, according to which all Venezuelans who enter that country having crossed from irregularly the border of Mexico and Panama, will be expelled to Mexican territory.

*Read also: More than 57,700 migrants crossed the Darién in October: the flow of Venezuelans decreased

In addition, those expelled will be excluded from the program through which the United States will give legal status for two years to 24,000 Venezuelans who arrive by plane and with sponsors.

Secondly, Unicef ​​warned on November 19 that between January and October 32,488 minorsa new historical figure, crossed the Darién, 10% more than last year, and that half of them were less than 5 years old.

The dangerous jungle of the Darién has been for decades a route used by people from all over the world who travel irregularly to the United States, despite the serious dangers that it entails due to its wild environment and the presence of organized crime groups.

*With information from swissinfo

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