Reports of sexual violence occurring in the forest area of the Darien Gap (Darien Gap) are increasing as the number of female migrants traverses the forest area that lies between the Colombian and Panamanian borders on their way north (United States).
The reports caught the attention of Panamanian lawmakers.
Panamanian lawmaker Zulay Rodríguez said his committee had collected about 1,000 allegations of sexual harassment since they began investigating the matter two months ago.
“This is the fate of the daily lives of women (these migrants) when they are young, when they are 20 or 30 years old or older,” said Rodriguez, who is also chairman of the Committee on Women, Children, Youth and Family Affairs and a member of the Party. Democratic Revolutionary.
He added that attackers in the area “don’t care if they rape the women in front of their husbands or their families.”
Liseydis Martínez, a Cuban migrant, said she saw two migrant women from her country emerge from the forest bleeding and crying, and said they had been raped.
Migrant flows through the Darien Pass this year were the highest in more than a decade. So far, more than 107,000 migrants, most of whom are Haitians, have traveled through the pass.
Authorities estimate that in the coming months more than 50,000 more migrants will pass through the area. [lt/jm]