AMERICA/COLOMBIA - “Situation ever more serious”: the Bishop of Apartado denounces more than 1,500 people blocked

Thursday, 28 July 2016 human rights   refugees   bishops   area crisis  

AMERICA/COLOMBIA - “Situation ever more serious”: the Bishop of Apartado denounces more than 1,500 people blocked

Turbo (Agenzia Fides) – With the number of illegal migrants passing into the Colombian town of Turbo on the border with Panama increasing daily, the Bishop of the diocese of Apartado, Mgr Hugo Torres Marin, has made an urgent appeal to the Chancellery for help to deal with this humanitarian crisis. "The situation in Turbo, Antioquia; Capurganá and Sabzurro, in Choco, is more serious every day, we need help from the Chancellery " say local sources in a report sent to Fides.
Bishop Torres Marin is concerned by the fact that the Foreign Ministry refuses to say anything on the matter or even offer solutions while the situation demands immediate attention because, he explains, "there is disorder among the local people where the migrants have set up makeshift dwellings; in this situation of government indifference many migrants have had their few possessions stolen; although the mayor provides water and the local Church social pastoral committee supplies food, the problem is still serious and even local lay people are doing what they can".
Besides those already blocked (see Fides 5/07/2016) between 100 and 400 more illegal migrants arrive every day. To aggravate the situation a few days ago an electricity blackout left Capurganá without power, people in Choco live at temperatures between 32 and 35 Celsius. This caused an increase the price of food which needs refrigeration and the use of generators for which fuel must be bought.
The serious situation in the municipality of Uraba (Colombia) is caused by the closure of the borders for immigrants decided on May 9 by the President of Panama. Migrants coming from Cuba, Haiti, Africa and China attempt to reach the United States of America through Colombia and Panama. According to the local Catholic Church an estimated 1,500 people are blocked at the border.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 28/07/2016)


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