PANAMA (HPD) — Some 435 Venezuelan migrants have left Panama on charter flights back to their country a few days after the United States put into effect a new plan for those displaced from the South American country, Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney said Friday.
He said that coordination is being made for the return trip of another 200 Venezuelan migrants between Friday and Saturday. “Most of the migrants who pass through Panama have no interest in staying” in the Central American country, stressed the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He explained that the displaced are returning on charter flights and that the Venezuelan consular mission in Panama is “completely” in charge of the expenses of the South Americans, who arrived after crossing the dangerous jungle of Darién, on the border with Colombia.
According to official figures, so far in 2022, 202,707 migrants have transited, the vast majority of them Venezuelans.
The United States announced last week that it will return Venezuelans who cross the border illegally from Mexico and that it will accept up to 24,000 for which they must previously register in a program, have a financial sponsor in the country and arrive by air.
Panama, which receives the migrants after security checks, gives them food, shelter and coordinates the transit so that they continue on buses to Costa Rica, is clamoring for international financial aid and greater regional coordination to deal with this irregular flow.