Panama Police Detain 92 Migrants Entering Country by Boat

Miraflores locks, Panama Canal, Panama, Central America, Latin America.
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By Elida Moreno

PANAMA CITY, June 9 (Reuters) – Over 90 migrants, mostly Venezuelans and Ecuadorians, were detained by Panamanian police after trying to enter the country by boat, Panama’s National Border Service (SENAFRONT) said on Thursday.

The group, 92 in total, was the largest ever found in SENAFRONT’s jurisdiction, it said.

The border service’s Caribbean Brigade had been on a nighttime patrol when it spotted five boats crossing the water, it said in a statement.

Eight Colombians were arrested on charges of human trafficking, a SENAFRONT representative told local media.

In recent months, Panamanian authorities have reported that migrants are changing the customary routes used to enter the country, reducing their use of the dangerous jungle crossing known as the Darien Gap along the border with Colombia.

To date in 2022, a total of 38,080 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, have been detained in Panama, according to SENAFRONT.

Reporting by Eli Moreno in Panama City; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien
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