Record Numbers Of Migrants Are Crossing The Dangerous Darién Gap : 1A The Darién Gap is a roadless stretch of treacherous jungle that connects Panama and Colombia. It is increasingly crowded with migrants who are risking their lives to make it to the United States.

"People will go to great extents to improve their lives or get away from danger. Even the greatest natural deterrents in the world won't stop them from seeking a better life," says Migration Policy Institute's Andrew Selee.

We discuss what it's like to trek through the Darien Gap and why so many more migrants choosing to make the perilous, week-long journey.

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Record Numbers Of Migrants Are Crossing The Dangerous Darién Gap

Record Numbers Of Migrants Are Crossing The Dangerous Darién Gap

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Venezuelan migrant Jesus Arias is helped by a friend as they arrive at Canaan Membrillo village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama. LUIS ACOSTA/LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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LUIS ACOSTA/LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuelan migrant Jesus Arias is helped by a friend as they arrive at Canaan Membrillo village, the first border control of the Darien Province in Panama.

LUIS ACOSTA/LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

Record numbers of Venezuelans are arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

They are refugees fleeing a humanitarian crisis at home.

But two weeks ago, the Biden Administration announced it would start sending some Venezuelan migrants back to Mexico.

That's left tens of thousands stranded south of the border.

It's not the end they were expecting to their cross-continental journey - the most challenging part of which is likely the Darien Gap.

That's a particularly dangerous stretch of jungle that straddles the Panama Colombia border.

According to Human Rights Watch, 32-thousand people – mostly Venezuelans - passed through the 66-mile Gap in August. That's 40 times more than the same month last year.

We wanted to learn more. What's it like to trek through the Darien Gap - And why are so many more migrants choosing to make the perilous, week-long journey?

The Los Angeles Times' Molly O'Toole, Migration Policy Institute's Andrew Selee, and Latin America, Refugees International's Rachel Schmidtke join us for the conversation.

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