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Panama election shock: New president vows to choke flow of illegal migrants headed North

President-elect of Panama Jose Mulino
by WorldTribune Staff, May 10, 2024

Jose Mulino, the surprise winner of the Panama presidential election, has vowed he “will not permit thousands of illegals to pass through our territory like nothing, without control.”

Mulino said he would close the Darien Gap, a swampy jungle on the border with Colombia that serves as a major passageway for migrants heading north. He also floated the possibility of building a border wall.

Related: Correspondent spends New Year’s Eve tracking military-age Chinese streaming through Darien Gap, January 2, 2024

"The border of the United States, instead of being in Texas, moved to Panama," said Mulino, who previously held the role of Minister of Security under ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.

Mulino was originally supposed to be vice president under Martinelli but the current Panamanian government sentenced Martinelli to 10 years for embezzlement and money laundering.

Mulino "defeated all the communist & socialist ruling parties in a massive upset," Kyle Reyes of wrote on LinkedIn. "His opponents were actually campaigning to open up the path even more to increase the flow of illegals to the U.S."

Mulino's Conservative Populist party had zero seats in the National Assembly prior to the election.

"God has visited Panama," Reyes added. "Mulino is already talking to President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele and Javier Milei in Argentina."

Last year, over half a million people braved the hazardous Darien Gap crossing. Human Rights Watch reports that migrants and asylum seekers often become victims of sexual violence while crossing the Gap.

During a recent rally, Mulino mentioned seeking support from former U.S. President Donald Trump to "add some cement" for the wall, should Trump return to the White House next year.

Mulino will assume office on July 1.

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