About 19,000 migrants, “mostly Haitians”, are stranded at a port in northern Colombia waiting to board boats that will take them to the border with Panama, the Ombudsman’s Office (Ombudsman) reported on Wednesday.
“We have been able to confirm that there are about 19,000 migrants” seeking to cross to Central America, said Carlos Camargo, the head of the entity that oversees human rights in Colombia.
The Ombudsman’s Office said in a statement that the “majority” are Haitians.
The migrants, Camargo added, are waiting for a place on boats from the small port of Necoclí (northwest) to Acandí, a village on the border with Panama.
An agreement between the Colombian and Panamanian governments restricts the transit of migrants to a maximum of 650 people per day. More than 50,000 have crossed that border in 2021.
Travelers must cross the Gulf of Urabá, a maritime stretch of about 60 kilometers. They must also navigate the threat of the Clan del Golfo, the largest armed drug trafficking organization wielding authority in the region.