The United States government has donated 63 military vehicles to Panama for security on the borders of Costa Rica and Colombia in its fight against migrant smuggling and drug trafficking, the American country’s security portfolio announced on Thursday.
The arrivals contain smuggling
“We want to support the efforts of Panama in the fight against organized crime, smuggling of immigrants, threats to the security of our countries and people,” said the Ambassador of the United States of America to Panama, Mari Carmen Aponte, during the inauguration ceremony.
Donation, made by the US embassy in the Central American region, 63 Jeep J8 with its own maintenance parts, valued at 8 million, for the exclusive use of the National Service (Senafront) and the National Aeronaval Service (Senan) of Panama.
According to Aponte, “these jeeps are the largest donation of vehicles that the United States Department of Defense has made to the Republic of Panama in modern times.”
“To ensure the extension of the operation of Jeeps, parts will be received that will allow our units to be trained in this matter, and it will be possible to maintain them in optimal conditions in the provinces of Darién (south), Chiriquí, Bocas del Toro (both north). ) and in the field of Chepo (south) where they will be assigned to serve”, declared the Minister of Public Security of Panama, Juan Manuel Pino.
The vehicles will be used “for counterterrorism, anti-narcotics, organized crime, maritime and border operations for remote areas,” the Ministry of Public Security expressed in a statement.
The United States, Colombia and Panama already last April emphasized a package of measures to address the regional migration crisis, including human trafficking networks fighting through the dangerous Darién jungle, after a meeting was held in Panama City by the foreign ministers of Panama and Colombia, Janaina Tewaney and Álvaro Leyva. respectively and the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Darién jungles, which use the borders of Panama and Colombia, have met with irregular migrants from all over the world looking for North America, many acts of human trafficking, in an illegal business worth millions.
In the first four months of the year, more than 145,000 migrants crossed the jungle, considered one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world, a number six times higher than the same period in 2022, which has been further closed. 248,000 people. In transit.
Darién is also used by organized crime for drug trafficking and has a clandestine presence.