(Washington, D.C.) September 3, 2013 — Despite the ongoing peace negotiations between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest guerilla group, displacements both within the country and across international borders have not slowed. Newly arrived refugees in Panama report recent threats and attacks by guerillas, neo-paramilitaries and other armed groups.
While the majority of Panama’s refugees are Colombian, Panama has also seen an increase in recent years of people fleeing the growing violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and continues to receive a small but steady number of people from further away, the so-called “extra-continentals,” from as far away as Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Supported by a grant from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Jesuit Refugee Service Panama administers several programs to help refugees. Counseling, humanitarian assistance, income generating activities, legal aid and advocacy on detention and asylum issues are some of the methods JRS uses to help these vulnerable people. Read the full story online to learn more about the work of JRS in Panama.
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