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Panama weighs more checkpoints in treacherous jungle

17/5/2024 12:00
        Panama's next government is considering erecting new checkpoints along a stretch of thick jungle on its southern border that has become a treacherous part of the journey for growing masses of U.S.-bound migrants, the incoming security chief said on Thursday.
        
        The additional checkpoints, where deportation orders could be issued to migrants, appear to be part of President-elect Jose Raul Mulino's campaign pledge to close the so-called Darien Gap, even though he has yet to announce a detailed plan.
        
        Frank Abrego, Mulino's incoming security chief, floated a formal border closure along with the checkpoints to process migrants in comments to reporters immediately after a press conference in the capital, where the next president presented part of his cabinet.
        
        The government of Mulino, himself a former security minister, takes office on July 1.
        
        Last year, a record 520,000 migrants crossed the jungle between Colombia and Panama, mostly fleeing Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti and China.
        



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