A few days ago, a video surfaced showing a large group of people or migrants wading through a Venezuelan river in the Darien Gap. The video was shared with the claim that it depicted a convoy of Arab/African Muslim refugees crossing the Darien Gap and supposedly heading towards America.
The Real Story
This claim is baseless. Moreover, the truth is that these migrants are mostly Venezuelan, not Arab or African Muslims, crossing the Darien Gap at the Colombia–Panama border in an attempt to reach the US. Venezuelans are a Hispanic population and this migration has no connection with Arab and African Muslim refugees.
The Darien Gap has rapidly transformed into one of the most urgent political and humanitarian crises in the Western Hemisphere. What a few years ago was a trickle-down flow has now turned into a torrent: more than 360,000 people have already crossed the jungle in 2023. In response, the United States, Colombia and Panama signed an agreement in April to “end the illicit movement of people” through the Darien Gap. Today, those gains are bigger than ever: This year alone, local leaders have raised tens of millions of dollars from migrants in a huge human movement operation.
In the absence of Colombia’s government, local leaders have decided to take care of the migration. The foundation manages the entire route from Acandí to the Panama border setting prices for journey collecting fares and operating vast camps in the middle of the jungle.
About Darien Gap
The Darién Gap is a remote, roadless, and mountainous rainforest region located in the Isthmus of Panama, connecting North and South America. Despite its challenging conditions, it has become a popular route for migrants. In recent years, thousands of Venezuelan migrants have crossed it, fleeing the crisis in their country.
Moreover, the Darien jungle has functioned for generations as an extensive natural barrier between North and South America, hindering the flow of people north. Historically, guerrillas and other armed groups have used this dense jungle for shelter and to smuggle drugs. However, in recent years turmoil in Venezuela, Haiti and now Ecuador along with economic devastation from the pandemic has led to a sharp increase in the number of people walking from South America to the United States. To read more about the Darien Gap, click here [archive].
India, for instance, has been dealing with illegal immigration from neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. This issue of illegal immigration poses serious national security threats. It impacts the interests of local populations in areas seeing large-scale inflows of illegal immigrants. Moreover, it also increases political instability when these illegal immigrants start interfering in internal affairs.
People are circulating the video with false claims to target a specific community and set an agenda. Furthermore, it’s important to note that immigration can impact the economy and democracy of any country, regardless of any particular religion. In conclusion, the video in question does not depict Arab or African Muslim refugees, but rather Hispanic migrants from Venezuela. The misinformation being spread is a clear case of propaganda. Following a precise analysis and fact-checking, our team has reviewed the claim. You can refer to the findings of this inquiry in the Twitter thread below.
1105— D-Intent Data (@dintentdata) September 18, 2023
FACT: A video that shows a huge crowd passing through flowing water has been shared, claiming that a convoy of Arab/African Muslim refugee invaders crossing Darien Gap is heading toward America. This is a baseless claim. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/sNSyvb8dCV
Claim: The video shows Arab/African Muslim refugees crossing the Darien Gap.
Fact: The video shows Venezuelan migrants crossing the Darien Gap.