Panama's TikTok campaign on dangers of crossing Darien gap

(MENAFN) The government of Panama is sounding the alarm over the rapidly increasing number of migrants from South America who are making their way through the treacherous swamps and jungle of the Darien nature preserve from Colombia. The surge in migration includes large numbers of Haitians and Chinese, among tens of thousands of people headed to the United States this year alone.

Official government figures show that in just the first two months of 2023, nearly 50,000 individuals crossed into Panama through the Darien Gap, which is five times the number recorded during the same period last year. In 2022, a total of 248,284 migrants were recorded, and if the trend continues, the Panamanian government expects up to 400,000 migrants to arrive this year, according to Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney.

In response to this crisis, Panama has launched a TikTok campaign aimed at educating potential migrants about the dangers of crossing through the Darien Gap and encouraging them to take safer routes. The Financial Times reported that the campaign aims to raise awareness about the horrors of the Darien, which is a hostile jungle where many people die while attempting to cross.

Tewaney expressed her concern that many migrants are being misled by smugglers who downplay the dangers of crossing the Darien Gap. Instead of being told the truth about the treacherous nature of the journey, they are often given false information about how long it will take to cross and are abandoned in the jungle with little or no resources. Tewaney emphasized that the dangers of crossing through the Darien Gap cannot be overstated, and urged potential migrants to consider safer alternatives.



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