Bogotá, Oct 7 (EFE). – The mayor of New York, Eric Adams, visited on Saturday by land and air the region of the Colombian Gulf of Urabá, near the Panamanian border, where migrants begin their route through the dangerous Darién jungle to Central America and the United States.
This year, a historic number of more than 400,000 people have crossed the dangerous path that separates Panama and Colombia.
“It is crucial for me and my delegation to come here and engage with NGOs and local residents who are affected, and to communicate with migrants and asylum seekers,” Adams said.
After an aerial tour of the towns of Acandí, Capurganá and Sapzurro, Adams visited Necoclí, where “people are sleeping in the streets waiting for transportation to begin a terrible, very dangerous journey through the Darien.”
“It’s an international problem, but it’s also a regional problem, and the only way to solve it is for everyone who is part of it to work with others,” said the mayor, who believes that a coordinated plan must be reached to solve the humanitarian crisis.
Adams believes that the solution also includes better information that refutes the “false hopes and false promises” that migrants have when they arrive in the United States.
The mayor insists they must be given “truthful information about what is happening on the streets of New York.”
“Putting people through this, especially children, is not the right thing to do. I think we need a real analysis and we all need to come together to find a solution to a problem that is affecting this region like never before,” the mayor stressed.
He also said it was not his role to tell any country how to do its job, but to seek common “humane” solutions.
Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States, Luis Gilberto Murillo, who accompanied the visit along with National Police Director, General William Salamanca, assured that the visit was “an excellent opportunity to discuss the challenges that arise from the current migration crisis.
“It also allows us to deepen the efforts that Colombia continues to make to address irregular migration in a committed manner,” said Murillo.
The ambassador also emphasized that Colombia hosts almost 3 million Venezuelans, to whom it has applied an unprecedented regularization so they have access to “health care, education, housing, job opportunities and social benefits.”
“Colombia’s efforts in the care and reception of migrants have relieved pressure on the social systems of the United States and other countries in the hemisphere,” the ambassador told the mayor.
Murillo also declared: “Mayor Adams and I are discussing additional collaborative efforts at the national and local levels to create social and economic opportunities and deter irregular migration through transit countries like Colombia to destination countries.” EFE