Guaidó blames Maduro for deaths of Venezuelan migrants in Darién jungle

Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, has blamed this Saturday the country’s president, Nicolás Maduro, of being responsible for the deaths of those Venezuelan migrants who tried to cross the Darién jungle, between Colombia and Panama, with the aim of reaching the United States.

“It is Maduro’s dictatorship that has pushed Venezuelans to risk their lives in the Darien jungle,” Guaidó said on his personal Twitter account.

Likewise, the opposition leader has called for the protection of migrants’ rights. “It is necessary to protect our migrants and refugees, that they be recognized as such, and solve this drama (…),” he has urged.

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“Every Venezuelan who has died crossing the Darien, every heartbreaking testimony of a survivor, is felt in the soul of a country that suffers an unprecedented crisis in our region”, the politician has declared.

Subsequently, Guaidó has shared a series of news of people who died or were injured during this month after attempting to cross said territory.

The Darien jungle is a route with dangerous conditions, due to its natural features — such as rushing rivers and wild animals — and the presence of armed groups.

In 2021, a record 133,000 people crossed the Darien Gap, including 29,000 children, according to official data from Panamanian authorities accessed by the NGO Human Right Watch (HRW). In the first four months of 2022, the number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing into North America nearly doubled compared to the same months in 2021.

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In March, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned of a marked increase in Venezuelans crossing into the region, due to the socio-economic impact caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic.

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