War Correspondent Michael Yon is traveling the journey of the migrants from South America to the United States, detailing their travails and travels, as well as remarkable encounters he has along the way. The Epoch Times presents excerpts from his ongoing account.
Darien Gap, Panama
April 21, 2021
Here in Darien Gap, Panama, I have heard so many stories about dying children, rape, murder, and death.
Three Venezuelans journeyed north through Colombia to Panama. One of the three says their families are starving in Venezuela, and they want to make it to the United States. On video they tell of having seen 5 adults and two children dead on their journey to Panama. They say three young girls were raped. The three men in the video were robbed. They emphatically warn others not to make the trip through the jungle to Panama.
On a trip to a remote village today I came across what appeared to be a dying pregnant lady. She seemed African. I tried to wake her up. The Panama border police saw her. There was nothing I could do. What a sickening feeling.
There are many river and stream crossings and water claims it’s share through drowning and waterborne illness. I asked some people today how their babies are. Some have diarrhea. This is all sickening. Infants. Babies will die in one day from this, and many are doing so.
Some people just can’t swim and they must cross those streams. I’ve been out there bathing in the streams and can confirm you can get swept down. Especially a lot of migrants are from African cities, or places with crocodiles in the rivers. And so they usually don’t go in the water. No crocodiles in these rivers, but many migrants just cannot swim.
Migrants leave Darien Gap at a village called Bajo Chaqita. When they arrive at the village, the first little store they come to has Money Gram and Western Union at 20 percent commission.
Francisco the mayor, an Embera Indian, told me the village makes more than a million dollars per year on the migrants, and the village only has less than 300 Embera inhabitants.
BY MICHAEL YON