Panama Reports that at Least 50 Migrants Have Died Crossing Jungle

The Panamanian prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday that over 50 people died since the beginning of the year, trying to Panama jungle, wanting to reach the United States.

“The Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Panama has registered 53 migrant deaths in different circumstances in the province of Darien,” Jose Vincente Pachar, director of Panama’s Forensic Sciences Institute, told AFP.

According to Panamanian police, over 90,000 migrants — largely Haitians — have passed the Darien Gap from Colombia, and the body count reflects this surge in migration.

Pachar said many of them die of natural causes, such as a heart attack; they fall and no one attends to them. 

“They stay there, or they’re assaulted, or the water’s current comes and takes the bodies that end up floating along the river’s edge,” Pachar said.

“Right now, we don’t have a way to investigate like we want to with international support, to go on the trails, the paths because all the descriptions and statements (say) there are human remains,” Pachar added.

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