Martes 2 de Julio 2024

José Raúl Mulino Seeks to Halt Migration

Panama's President-Elect to Sign Agreement with the United States to Begin Border Closures

Créditos: Panama's new President, Jose Raul Mulino, gestures next to his wife, Maricel Cohen de Mulino, after his inauguration ceremony at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City on July 1, 2024. AFP
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José Raúl Mulino assumed the Presidency of Panama yesterday for the next five years, with a firm commitment to stop the relentless irregular migration through the Darién jungle, supported by the United States.

Mulino, a 65-year-old lawyer and former Minister of Security, has as one of his first acts in office the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the United States to initiate the closure of the border to migration from South America.

The new Panamanian President considers this migratory flow, which has intensified in recent years, to be an intolerable humanitarian crisis that affects Panama's environment and economy and generates severe human rights violations for the migrants, many of whom are women and children.

The agreement with the United States, which gains relevance ahead of the November elections in the North American country, seeks to have the U.S. finance flights from Panama to repatriate migrants crossing the Darién without documentation.

Designated Foreign Minister Javier Martínez Acha indicated that although the United States will cooperate in the effort, the economic amounts to implement the process have not been established.

Mulino has hinted at his interest in developing a unique political identity in Panama. His party, Realizando Metas (RM), controls the Congress' board of directors and could dominate the parliament in alliance with traditional right-wing parties.