Panama: Victim identification process continues after fatal road accident involving irregular migrants

Traffic accident in Panama with more than 30 dead. Photo: Latin Press.

At least 40 irregular migrants died in the Panamanian province of Chiriquí when the bus taking them to a reception center fell off a cliff on February 15.

As part of the expert investigations, it became known that the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensics of this country requested genetic information to identify the deceased.

Prensa Latina cited a statement from the entity that said the condition of the bodies and the lack of data make it difficult to investigate the deceased.

Panamanian professionals require information from travelers’ countries of origin to obtain papilloscopic or dental records and specimens from relatives to perform genetic comparisons for identification purposes, and it has been clarified that while the procedure lasts, “the bodies will be properly preserved and established.” international standards,” he specified in the statement.

Among the passengers were several migrants crossing the Darién area on the border with Colombia; a route of about 575,000 hectares that poses a danger due to its impenetrable jungle and has become the domain of drug dealers and bandits of all kinds.

According to the Prensa Latina agency, the bus driver, who also died, lost control of the car, which crashed into a ravine, for reasons that are still under investigation, according to the security ministry.

Migration authorities reported that migrants from Africa and South American countries such as Ecuador and Brazil traveled by bus, but did not provide details on the nationalities of the deceased, the AP said.

Furthermore, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed, without specifying the number, that among the deceased are citizens of the island, while the Colombian government “expressed its deepest condolences to the families of the victims, Colombians and from several sister countries”.

(With information from Grandma)