Darien Gap

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Source-This post on Darien Gap is based on the article “What is the Darien Gap? And why are more migrants risking this Latin American route to get to the US?” published in “Down to Earth” on 14th March 2024.

Why in the News?

Illegal immigration to the US has in recent weeks moved its focus south to the Darien Gap.

About Darien Gap

Darien Gap
Source: Down to Earth

1. The Darien Gap is a stretch of densely forested jungle across northern Colombia and southern Panama.

2. It is roughly 60 miles (97 kilometres) across. The terrain is muddy, wet and unstable.

3. It has become a major route for global human migration despite of no paved roads exist in the Darien Gap.

4. The Darién Gap is home to the Embera- Wounaan and Guna indigenous peoples. It was also inhabited by the Cueva people, who became extinct after the Spanish invasion of Panama in 1535.

5. Maize, cassava, plantains, and bananas are staple crops grown by local farmers in the region.

6. Why is it so dangerous?

a) The route people take when they migrate from South America to North America is controlled by criminal organisations.

b) The route is also prone to extortion, kidnapping and mass sexual assault.

c) The extreme nature of the swamp like jungle also makes the movement in this region dangerous.

d) Vector-borne, water-borne and fungal-related illnesses are also quite common in this region.

UPSC Syllabus: Places in news

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