World Children a big part of migration through perilous Darien Gap
Fearing Afghan refugee influx, Turkey reinforces border
TATVAN, Turkey (AP) — Fearing a new refugee crisis, Turkey is sending soldiers to reinforce its border with Iran in order to stop a potential influx of Afghans fleeing the Taliban insurgency. Irregular arrivals are already up as Afghans who fled weeks and months ago show up at Turkey's rugged border area after a long trek across Iran. A group of Afghans encountered by The Associated Press near the border said they had deserted the Afghan military and fled the country as the Taliban offensive accelerated.“We came out of necessity.
NECOCLI, Colombia (AP) — Every day, at least 500 migrants from around the world sail out of Necocli, a small town on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, across the Gulf of Uraba to the village of Acandi, to start a week-long trek through the jungle that takes them into Panama — the next stop on the long road to the United States.
About one quarter of them are children, according to Panamanian officials, and often still in arms.
Merkel calls migrant push at EU's border 'unacceptable'
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that she found it unacceptable that refugees were being used to apply pressure to Poland and other European Union members on the border with Belarus. Speaking at a news conference during what she said she expected to be her last official visit to Poland as chancellor, Merkel appealed to Belarus, but also to Poland, to help people in difficult humanitarian conditions caught between the border of Poland and Belarus.
While trekking through the lawless jungle known as the Darien Gap, migrants face the risks of being swept away by rivers, assaulted by armed groups or getting lost in the rainforest. Yet thousands of families are making the journey, hoping for a new life.
“We we want God to help us prosper” said Jackie Charles, a Haitian who was boarding a boat in Necocli. “Our country is in crisis and we need to support our family.”
The Darien Gap has long been used by migrants from Cuba and Haiti, who find it almost impossible to fly to Mexico or the U.S. due to visa restrictions. Migrants from African and Asian countries, facing similar problems, have also made the trek after first reaching South America.
Most of those passing through the Darien now are Haitians who had been living in Brazil and Chile and left when the pandemic left them with little or no work.
Another system of migration is possible
We can enact a more humane and compassionate response to migration by accepting responsibility for and recognizing the traumas inflicted by past and present-day policies, and by learning from approaches elsewhere. Migrant reception activities on the shores of southern Italy for instance, specifically Sicily - the first point of entry for many people seeking asylum in Europe - where I have been working as an anthropologist since 2014 and the central topic of my recent book, lend insight into what another system might look like.
Necocli has became a major bottleneck on the route north. Boat companies struggle to keep up with demand even as governments have limited the numbers. The Pan-American Highway ends here, only to resurface in Yaviza, on the Panamanian side of the Darien.
Colombia’s Institute for Family Welfare has set up a tent in Necocli to help families arriving with children. Kids are weighed and measured to check for malnutrition. Diapers and baby formula are provided. But in the jungle none of that help is available.
According to Panama’s National Immigration Service, 45,000 migrants crossed the Darien Gap in the first seven months of this year and registered with authorities, including 12,000 children.
Sidelined by rivals, Germany's far-right AfD bides time
BERLIN (AP) — Migration is a side issue in this year's German election campaign, but that hasn't stopped the country's biggest far-right party from trying to play it up. “Cologne, Kassel or Konstanz can't cope with more Kabul,” Alternative for Germany declared on one of its election posters — a reference to the government's decision to take in Afghans who had worked for the German military or aid groups before the Taliban takeover. Another,“Cologne, Kassel or Konstanz can't cope with more Kabul,” Alternative for Germany declared on one of its election posters — a reference to the government's decision to take in Afghans who had worked for the German military or aid groups before the Taliban takeover.
Doctors Without Borders, which runs a small clinic in the Panamanian village of Bajo Chiquito, says that children who make it through the jungle often suffer from diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Ronald, a Haitian migrant in Necocli, said that his wife, who is six months pregnant and had been to the town's hospital for help with back pains. “We realize it's dangerous” Ronald said blending Spanish and Portuguese, which he had learned in Brazil. “But we are going because we want a better life.”
He refused to provide his last name because he feared deportation from Colombia, which he entered illegally at the Ecuador border.
UN: Migrants face 'dire conditions' at Poland-Belarus border
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The U.N. migration agency said Monday that it is deeply concerned by the “dire conditions” facing migrants stranded for weeks at the border of Poland and Belarus. But Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Warsaw that the group of people stuck at the border are being provided with food and money by the Belarusian security services and are being used to try to bring people illegally into the country. Poland,But Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Warsaw that the group of people stuck at the border are being provided with food and money by the Belarusian security services and are being used to try to bring people illegally into the country.
Jorge Tobon, Necocli’s mayor, said that respiratory and gastrointestinal problems are the most common reasons that pregnant migrants seek help at the local hospital.
In August, Panama and Colombia agreed to limit the number of migrants crossing through the Darien. Only 500 migrants are allowed to leave Necocli each day on the boats. But many more are arriving each day in the small town, where approximately 14,000 migrants are currently stranded, according to the municipal government.
Tickets on boats leaving Necocli are sold out through the last week of September. ;Migrants wander around the port daily, hoping they can get a ticket, or a spot on a boat that is reserved for tourists, who also travel to beach hotels in Acandi and the nearby village of Capurgana.
“We came from Chile. We have been waiting here for two months and still haven’t been able to get a ticket” said Mali, a Haitian who was at the port. Mali, who also refused to provide her last name, said her family had budgeted $1,600 for the journey to the United States, but had already spent more than $2,000 due to the costs of being stranded in Necocli.
Turkey Deploys Soldiers to Iran Border to Stop Possible Afghan Migrant Surge
Opposition parties have been calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to "take control of the borders" and prevent a new migration surge. They have also warned against any new migration agreement between Turkey and Western nations like the one Ankara reached with the EU in 2016. Under that deal, Ankara agreed to prevent the flow of migrants to Europe while the EU for its part promised, among other things, to send billions of Euros to Turkey for the Syrian refugees.The main opposition party has also claimed that Erdogan struck a secret deal with U.S.
Relatives in the United States could send her money, but because she is undocumented in Colombia, there are few ways to withdraw cash from banks or money transfer companies.
“Because we don’t have any papers, we need Colombian residents to do that for us” Mali explained. “And they ask for commissions that range from 20 to 50%.”
Polish PM points to Russia amid standoff at Belarus border .
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's prime minister told parliament Monday that the country faces a threat from Russia and Belarus as he sought support for a state of emergency declared in areas along the border with Belarus last week amid migration pressure. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke in parliament before lawmakers were due to vote on whether to approve the state of emergency that was declared last week by the president — a step unprecedented in the country's post-communist history.