The People’s Alliance for Life has denounced that the Panamanian government has used migrants as a method of provocation to create false positives, generate chaos, and distort the struggle they are leading in the streets. The organization denounces that they are replicated in social networks both by civil and political groups, as well as by natural persons.

The People’s Alliance for Life is an organization that brings together various professional associations, trade unions, indigenous movements, peasants and organized peoples. It was founded with the objective of collectively expressing disagreement with the economic measures promoted by the government and the corruption of officials, to the detriment of health, education, food, work and other needs that people require to live in dignity. For a week they have called, with the full support of the citizenry, an indefinite work stoppage in the education sector, which has materialized with road closures nationwide.

With this complex and dangerous situation, the Panamanian migration authorities sent 7 buses full of migrants from Darién to Chiriquí. Approximately 500 migrants were traveling and among them many children. Upon reaching the protest points, confrontations ensued because the protesters did not let them pass to continue their journey. However, after talking, they were allowed to move forward. But in a community called Horconcito, province of Chiriquí, tempers flared. Between threats and shouts the protesters began to throw stones at the buses with the migrants inside, the xenophobic expressions were immediate.

For its part, the immigration authority in Panama has declared that they have acted according to the logistics of transferring migrants from Darién to Chiriquí and are not responsible for what has happened.

In the midst of this painful conflict, I wonder what were the intentions that fueled the decision of the migration authority? How is it possible to use the need, the vulnerability, the anguish and the few energies that remain after crossing the jungle of El Darién, for such perverse objectives?

Rafael Lara
Facilitator RFM-Panama