AMERICA/PANAMA - The ordeal and growing despair among the 2,500 Cubans blocked at the border continues

Friday, 22 April 2016 minors   refugees   politics   poverty  

David (Agenzia Fides) - "As Pastoral Social-Caritas Panama, from 6 to 18 April we visited along with some Caritas delegates of David, the centers where there are Cubans migrants in Paso Canoas. Here there are more than 2,000 people waiting to continue their journey to the United States of America". This is how the note sent to Fides on the visit of the Pastoral Social-Caritas Panama begins with regards to the reception centers where Cuban migrants are gathered.
The problem of Cuban migrants in Central America started last year and still continues (see Fides 25/11/2015), when more than 7,000 undocumented Cubans who wanted to reach the United States of America, were blocked in the Central American countries (see Fides 28/12/2015).
The note sent to Fides continues: "In January an agreement with Mexico had been reached to allow 1,300 migrants to leave for the United States. However, every day 50 new Cuban immigrants arrive in Panama from Colombia and Ecuador. At the moment, there are about 2,500 migrants still camped on the border with Costa Rica, among them are pregnant women and about 80 children under 12 years of age. The centers are under the custody of the Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (SENAFRONT), which guarantees security and food, with the help of the Panamanian Red Cross and the national and diocesan Office of Pastoral Social-Caritas".
For children to drink milk at least 3 times a week, 700 liters of milk per month are needed. "There are no disposable diapers for babies and dry food, sanitary towels and toiletries in general", said the note.
The meeting of those in charge of migration of Central American countries on 12 April had aroused great expectations. "Unfortunately at that meeting no agreement was reached, so Cubans blocked at the border have no prospects to continue their journey towards the north" says the text. "Many are trying to survive on odd jobs and some help from relatives in the United States. Their ordeal has lasted for several months. We ask for solidarity to support these brothers and sisters", the statement concludes. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 22/04/2016)

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