HAVANA TIMES — At least three Cuban migrants have died this year while attempting to cross into Panama through the Colombian-Panamanian jungle, said an official of that country’s immigration service.
Javier Carrillo, the general director of the National Immigration Service, said one of the Cubans drowned in a river in Darien Province, while the two others also drowned but in the sea while en route to the jungle border.
The goal of the Cubans is to reach the US by land, said Carrillo during a press conference. Once there, the Cubans — different from all other immigrants — are granted fast-track permanent residency.
According to an AP report, this is the first time that a Panamanian official has reported fatal incidents among Cuban migrants along the country’s southern border, though beginning last year some 400 islanders were detected entering the country through the Darien Gap area.