Panama says it improved care for migrants and denies detention policy

The State of Panama affirmed this Thursday, in a audience ante la Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I / A Court HR), that does not implement a politics from migrant detention and what has improved the terms in the care centers for these people, while non-governmental organizations complained of a lack of timely information.

“Panama recognizes that there is an important migratory flow, but it is transit. Panama receives migrants after a very dangerous stretch that is the Darien jungle. When Panama receives them, they are people in need of all kinds of attention. It is not a detention policy but tries to provide that first assistance “, stated at the hearing the state representative, Farah Urrutia.

The audience had as reason evaluate the answer of Condition to measurements provisional ordered by I / A Court HR on July from 2020 for the protection of hundreds of migrants who were stranded in Panama before the closure of the borders caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

“(Panama) has shown that it has deployed actions, with the help of international organizations, which show that we have made every effort to comply with the measures,” said the representative.

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Urrutia explained that in January past was closeto Migrant Reception Station La Peñita and that with the opening of the frontera with Costa Rica, from the past 5 of April, I know resumed a Program from orderly transit and controlled so that migrants continue their way through the region.

The state agent assured that the overcrowding on thes Stations from Reception from Migrants from Panama was resolved and that the people who are located there are provided medical care, including actions to prevent and treat cases of covid-19.

The official said that keep open the seasons from White Lajas, Saint vincent Y Bajo Chiquito, with “optimal ranges from occupation”, and that the flows vary every 10 days with the controlled transit operation in the region.

However, the representatives of the organization Center for Justice and International Law (Cejil) I know they complained that in recent months the State did not provide reports from the situation and that much of the information revealed at today’s hearing was not previously made known to the parties.

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Something similar was expressed by the representative of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Joel Hernández, who pointed out that “one of the main obstacles is the presentation of clear and sufficient information to determine the implementation of the measures.”

The representative of Cejil, Gabriela oviedo, I declare that “closing from La Peñita is a important advance for him compliance of the measures due to their inadequate conditions Y high levels from overcrowding “But he emphasized that in the rest of the migrant care centers there are still problems of access to health services and drinking water, and even overcrowding in Lajas Blancas.

“Although we acknowledge that there has been progress, the State continues not to comply with most of the measures. The situation of extreme gravity and urgency continues. There is a continuity of a state policy of automatic detention of migrants,” he said.

The Chairwoman from Inter-American Court, Elizabeth OdiO, solicitous al Condition a Detailed report of the Actions carried out, taking into account the new information that he presented at the audience. EFE

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