UPDATED 7:56 PM PT – Tuesday, October 5, 2021
At least 50 migrants have died in the Panama jungle as they tried to reach the U.S. Recent reports have indicated migrants faced brutal conditions as they made attempts to cross the Darien Gap from Colombia.
While 50 have been reported, officials believed this was a minimal number and only a portion of those who have died. Migrants who have successfully made the crossing were now at the next stop in their journey, but some have remained shaken by what they saw.
“Many things I don’t want to talk about. For example, many, many dead people,” one Haitian migrant expressed. “Many died in the jungle. I saw about six people die in front of me in the river. I saw many people die.”
Nearly 15 migrants have been laid to rest in a cemetery in Panama’s Darien Province after they attempted to cross the gap. Many have even called the gap the “hill of death.”
Officials have struggled to identify those who have died.
“Unfortunately, in these cases we have a very big difficulty. We have no information,” explained Jose Vicente Pachar, director of Panama’s Forensic Sciences Institute. “First of all, these are people who are traveling illegally. Many documents are altered and moreover, they don’t have family members to provide details of who that person was.”
This year, authorities estimated nearly 90,000 migrants made the difficult journey as many hoped to find jobs in the U.S. Migrants have reportedly pushed forward with their journey after they heard the Biden administration allowed around 12,000 migrants to stay in the U.S. after the border surge occurred in Del Rio, Texas.
However, Biden has continued to deflect the ongoing border crisis by blaming others for his seemingly “open border” type of policies that continued to let thousands of migrants pour into the U.S.