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Update: Ecuadorian Migration Through Darién Gap Drops by 41% in Early 2024

Published on June 24, 2024

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Update to: The Darién Crisis: Record Migration Marks 2023, Ecuadorians Fleeing Insecurity

Published: Volume 8, Issue 12

This figure represents a decrease compared to the same period in 2023, according to Panamanian immigration authorities and the UN Refugee Agency.

The latest report from the UN Refugee Agency on the situation in the Darién Gap reveals that 12,128 Ecuadorians crossed the dangerous jungle, which acts as a natural border between Colombia and Panama, from January to May 2024.

In total, 20,519 Ecuadorians crossed the Darién from January to May 2023, meaning the figures for the same period in 2024 represent a reduction of almost 41%.

Despite the reduction, Ecuadorians continue to be the second-largest nationality crossing the Darién, behind only the 109,985 Venezuelans who crossed the jungle from January to May of this year.

February was the month in 2024 when the most Ecuadorians crossed the Darién.

Month Ecuadorians who crossed
January 2,208
February 3,450
March 3,295
April 1,700
May 1,475

Source: National Immigration Service of Panama

The UNHCR report also highlights the dangers faced by migrants who decide to walk through the jungle in the hope of crossing Central America, Mexico, and reaching the United States. These risks include extortion and physical and sexual violence by criminal groups, in addition to natural hazards.

The UN division surveyed 124 people in June 2024. 40% were traveling with their entire families. 81% were exposed to dangers to their physical safety, such as attacks, drowning, and falls, and 42% reported seeing between one and fifteen bodies on their journey.

They also found that some of the greatest needs of migrants are the lack of cash and formal economic services in transit communities and temporary immigration reception stations, as well as a lack of clothing, footwear, and medical care.

A total of 57,250 Ecuadorians crossed the Darién in 2023, a record number for this nationality since mass migration through the jungle began in 2021.


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