(Cnn in Spanish) — Some 9,000 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, are stranded in Necoclí, a municipality in northwestern Colombia, waiting for a boat to cross the Gulf of Urabá and then move over the Darién Gap to Panama, to finally try to reach United States, the Ombudsman of the South American country reported on Tuesday.
“This year the migratory crisis is much more serious than the one registered last year. The number of people in human mobility who have passed to Panama exceeds 150,000 compared to the 134,000 migrants in all of 2021. And the trend is to continue increasing,” the institution said in a tweet. According to data from the Interagency Group of Mixed Migratory Flows and Panama Migration, in January 2022 some 4,415 migrants crossed the border; in August they did 31,055.
Migrants have to wait up to four days to get a ticket for a boat that takes them to Acandí, in the department of Chocó.
In addition, they indicated that another 1,000 people “in living conditions on the street”, including minors, are at risk because they cannot access food security, health, education, among others.
In July of last year, Necoclí experienced a similar situation with an agglomeration of more than 10,000 migrants, mostly from Africa and Haiti, who had the goal of reaching the United States.