Mexico + 6 more

Latin America & The Caribbean Weekly Situation Update (18-24 October 2021) As of 25 October 2021

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Situation Report
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KEY FIGURES

1.7M MIGRANTS ENCOUNTERED AT US-MEXICO BORDER BETWEEN OCT 2020 AND SEP 2021

6K MIGRANTS ESTIMATED TO HAVE DEPARTED MEXICO-GUATEMALA BORDER FOR THE U.S.

150K+ MIGRANTS PROJECTED TO CROSS INTO PANAMA IN 2021

REGIONAL: MIGRANTS & REFUGEES

US-MEXICO BORDER

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a record-high 1.7 million undocumented migrants were apprehended at the southern border between October 2020 and September 2021. While monthly numbers slightly decreased in September, CBP still encountered over 192,000 people at the southern border, down from the more than 200,000 crossings recorded in both July and August. More than 100,000 migrants encountered by CBP in September were expelled from the U.S. without being able to claim asylum.

CENTRAL AMERICA & MEXICO

According to officials in Mexico and the U.S., a massive migrant caravan, of about 6,000 people from Haiti, Venezuelan, Cuba and other Latin America countries, departed from the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border, on 23 October. Clashes have already erupted between migrants attempting to leave the camp en route to the U.S. and Mexican security forces.

Mexico continues to face a recordsetting migration flow, with around 147,000 irregular migrants identified between January and August, a threefold increase compared to 2020. Mexican authorities continue to strengthen border security operations in 22 of the country’s 32 states. The U.S., through the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), announced US$20 million in additional financial assistance to address the urgent humanitarian needs of almost 700,000 vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in Central America and Mexico.

PANAMA

So far in 2021, more than 100,000 migrants have made the perilous journey through the Darien Gap which straddles the Panama-Colombia border. This figure is nearly four times higher than 2020 and 2019 combined. Panamanian officials say that the migratory flow through Darien, composed mainly of Haitians and to a lesser extent Cubans, Venezuelans and extra-regional migrants from Africa and Asia, will top 150,000 in 2021. Panama is calling on the 12 Central and South American countries along this migratory route to roll out a coordinated response approach to control the flow and provide humanitarian assistance to those on the move.

CHILE

The Government set 18 October as the deadline for migrants to regularize their status in the country or face potential expulsion. The move comes as the Government continues to tighten migration laws while economic opportunities for migrants dry up, pushing many Haitians, who fled to Chile en masse in recent years taking advantage of relaxed visa requirements and a booming economy, to head northward toward Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

According to officials, the Chilean Government has issued permanent residence to nearly 70,000 Haitians; however, another 110,000 lack official documentation. In April, the Government passed a law to facilitate the expulsion of people without legal residence, as the entrance of irregular migrants between 2020 and 2021, mainly from Haiti and Venezuela, rose by approximately 82 per cent.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.