Panama + 10 more

Panama Multi-Country Office: Monthly Operational Update (April 2022)


Regional Context

Driven by prolonged crises, conflict, and violence, forced displacement continues in the Americas, including in countries under the Multi-Country Office (MCO) in Panama. Venezuelans continue to seek better opportunities, family reunification, and safety in neighbouring countries, including Aruba(despite the lengthy border closure),Curacao and Guyana. Persons in mixed movements transiting northward by land through Central America remain at risk of detention, deportation, trafficking, and Gender-based Violence(GBV).In addition, with the arrival of the rainy season,increasing the safety risks in the crossing, new routes are now being used. In April, around 300 persons per day crossed the Darien Gap (at the border between Colombia and Panama) in search for safety and stability. In the first quarter of 2022, the total number of persons crossingincreased by 66% in comparison with the same period in 2021.Venezuelanscontinue to be the main nationality in mixed movements who have crossed the Darien Gap–36% of the total number of people crossing as of end of April 2022 –compared to 2% in 2021.Governments in Cubaand Nicaraguacontinue to be scrutinized for the lack of fundamental guarantees in judicial processes against opposition members and other human rights violations. The Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators movement (PCIN) registered 175 attacks on freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the country during the first quarter of 2022.Furthermore, the government of Nicaragua informed, through its Minister of Foreign Affairs, the decision to expel the Organization of American States (OAS)from the country.This decision marks the culmination of a relationship marked by tension after the regime announced its resignation from the OAS in November of 2021, although that process –which usually lasts two years –had not yet officiallyended.InCuba, in its annual report on human rights and democracy, the European Union reported that the human rights situation has deteriorated in the last year, amidthe economic crisis that led to the adoption of the so-called Tarea de Ordenamiento.Amidofan increase inCOVID-19 cases and deaths in the region, the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic lingers and continuesto pose challenges and heighten vulnerabilitiesof displaced persons in countries under MCO Panama.