The Darien’s odyssey

The migratory crisis nobody talks about

A journey through the jungle hell that separates Panama and Colombia


There is a silent migratory crisis nobody talks about.  And it is going on for several years in the border between Colombia and Panama.

Thousands of migrants cross that border every year on their way to the United States.  Around 24,000 did it last year.  Very few of them arrive knowing what they will have to go through.  In order to reach Panama, migrants will have to go deep in the Darien, and walk for more than a week through this humid tropical jungle.

In this area, migrants are weaker than ever, because Darien is a territory with no law.  It is dominated mainly by the Clan del Golfo (The Gulf’s Clan), the main drug trafficking group in Colombia.  But in the heart of the jungle there are also wild animals, common criminals or former guerrilla fighters of the FARC and the ELN.

We have accompanied a group of migrants and we have witnessed on location the hardness of their journey.  Not all of them make it to Panama.  Many of them fall by the wayside.  There is not an official record of the life losses in the Darien.  We have talked to the migrants, but also with the coyotes and the drug dealers of the Gulf’s Clan.




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