Presidential Candidate Mulino’s Pledge: Seal Darién Route to Migrants

Cover Photo by Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores from Perú, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino, a frontrunner in the Panama elections, has made a bold promise that has caught the attention of many. He vows to “close” the Darién jungle to migrants heading to the United States, aiming to reshape Panama’s immigration policy and address the challenges posed by the increasing number of migrants using this route.

Key Takeaways:

  • José Raúl Mulino, a leading presidential candidate in Panama, has pledged to close the Darién jungle to migrants.
  • The Darién jungle serves as a route for migrants attempting to reach the United States from South America.
  • Mulino believes that Panama should not be a transit country and calls for collaboration between the United States, Colombia, and Panama to address the issue.
  • Mulino’s pledge comes amidst the increasing number of migrants crossing the Darién jungle, particularly Venezuelans.
  • With less than 20 days before the elections, Mulino currently leads in the polls with a voting intention of 34%.

Mulino’s Stance on Immigration

Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino firmly believes that Panama should not serve as a transit country for immigrants. He advocates for collaboration between the United States, Colombia, and Panama to address the challenges associated with immigration. One of the key issues Mulino aims to tackle is the increasing number of migrants crossing the Darién jungle.

The Darién jungle has become a popular route for migrants, with over 520,000 people, predominantly Venezuelans, making the treacherous journey in 2023 alone. This year, more than 120,000 migrants have already crossed the inhospitable jungle, according to official figures.

Year Number of Migrants
2023 520,000
2024 (Jan-Mar) 120,000

It is clear that the issue of immigration cannot be ignored. We must find a comprehensive solution that respects human rights, addresses the root causes of migration, and ensures appropriate repatriation of individuals.

The closure of the Darién jungle route would be a significant step in reshaping Panama’s immigration policy and tackling the underlying challenges. Mulino’s stance on immigration and his commitment to finding collaborative solutions resonate with voters who are concerned about the impact of increasing migration.

Mulino’s Electoral Tour and Support

During an electoral tour in Las Mañanitas, a working-class suburb of Panama City, presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino made his campaign promises, including his pledge to close the Darién jungle. This bold stance on immigration has garnered widespread attention and support from the Panamanian population.

With less than 20 days remaining before the elections, Mulino is currently leading in the polls with a voting intention of 34%. This significant support reflects the growing concern among voters regarding the issue of immigration and the need for effective policy solutions.

While Mulino’s popularity is evident, he does face a judicial hurdle. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a lawsuit challenging his direct appointment as a presidential candidate, which bypassed party primaries. The outcome of this legal review could have implications for Mulino’s candidacy and the overall electoral process in Panama.

Despite this challenge, Mulino’s message resonates with voters who are seeking a candidate committed to addressing the immigration issue and implementing meaningful change. His electoral tour has allowed him to connect with the Panamanian people, understand their concerns, and showcase his vision for a better Panama.

Current Polling in Panama

Candidate Voting Intention
José Raúl Mulino 34%
Ricardo Lombana 15%
Martín Torrijos 13%

Mulino’s strong performance in the polls positions him as a top contender in the upcoming elections. However, the final outcome remains uncertain as the legal proceedings surrounding his candidacy continue.

Mulino’s Response to Martinelli’s Asylum

Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino firmly denied any intention to pardon former president Ricardo Martinelli if elected, despite the two politicians being briefly aligned. Currently seeking asylum in the Nicaraguan embassy to evade a prison sentence, Martinelli initially endorsed Mulino as his running mate before being disqualified due to his conviction. While Martinelli seeks a review of his process to assert his innocence, Mulino believes the trial was a strategic move to eliminate his candidacy from the electoral race.

Mulino’s response highlights the complexities surrounding his campaign promises as he distances himself from Martinelli’s legal troubles. The potential connection between the two prominent figures underscores the intricacies of the Panama elections and the challenges candidates face when navigating a politically dynamic landscape.

Mulino’s Position on Martinelli’s Asylum

“I want to make it clear that I will not grant any pardon to Mr. Martinelli. The allegations against him are serious, and they cannot be brushed aside. I firmly believe in upholding the rule of law, and anyone found guilty must be held accountable.”

Mulino’s statement emphasizes his commitment to principles of justice and the rule of law. By dismissing any notion of pardoning Martinelli, he seeks to maintain transparency and integrity within the electoral process, aiming to distance himself from any potential collusion or perception of favoritism.

The decision to address Martinelli’s asylum directly showcases Mulino’s ability to navigate complex political situations, reinforcing his suitability as a candidate vying for the presidency. As the Panama elections draw near, Mulino’s response to this sensitive matter may resonate with voters seeking a leader who prioritizes accountability and transparency in government affairs.

Mulino’s Plan for Darién Closure

Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino has made a firm commitment to close the Darién jungle, a crucial passage for migrants seeking to reach the United States. While specific measures have not been outlined, the closure of the Darién jungle would have a significant impact on reshaping Panama’s immigration policy and addressing the growing number of individuals utilizing this route. Mulino emphasizes the importance of upholding human rights and ensuring appropriate repatriation procedures to handle this complex issue.

Implementing the closure of the Darién jungle requires careful consideration of practical and ethical factors. By closing this passage, Panama aims to deter migrants from using this route and channel them towards safer alternatives. Mulino recognizes the need for humane treatment and adequate repatriation processes to ensure the well-being and dignity of individuals affected by this decision.

Reshaping Panama’s immigration policy in relation to the Darién jungle closure necessitates collaboration between governments, NGOs, and international organizations. A comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying causes of migration and provides viable alternatives for individuals seeking a better life is crucial. This includes prioritizing development initiatives, economic opportunities, and regional cooperation to mitigate the push factors, reducing the reliance on perilous migration routes.

While challenges lie ahead, Mulino’s commitment to closing the Darién jungle highlights his determination to tackle migration issues with a comprehensive and compassionate approach. By addressing this specific route, Panama aims to assert greater control over its immigration policy and work towards a sustainable and equitable solution.

Key Points:

  • Mulino’s plan for Darién closure emphasizes the need to reshape Panama’s immigration policy
  • Specific measures regarding the closure have not been specified
  • The closure of the Darién jungle is expected to address the increasing number of migrants using this route to reach the United States
  • Human rights and appropriate repatriation processes are key considerations for Mulino
  • Collaboration between governments and international organizations is crucial to effectively tackle migration issues
Impact of Darién Jungle Closure Benefits Challenges
Reduced number of migrants using the Darién route Potentially safer migration alternatives Possible increase in alternative migration routes
Enhanced control over Panama’s immigration policy Improved border security and management Increase in illegal border crossing attempts
Economic opportunities for Panama Reduced strain on resources in the Darién region Potential economic impact on nearby communities

Mulino’s Popularity and Potential Challenges

Despite his conviction and legal challenges, former president Ricardo Martinelli still retains substantial support from many Panamanians who remember the economic growth experienced during his presidency. This lingering popularity adds complexity to the electoral process as it unfolds.

Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino, who currently leads in the polls, faces potential challenges in his bid for the presidency. One such challenge is the possibility of his candidacy being annulled, which could have far-reaching consequences for the entire electoral process.

Mulino is aware of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the elections. Annulment, especially of his candidacy, could undermine public trust in the process and raise concerns about the fairness and legitimacy of the results.

It is worth noting that Mulino’s conviction and legal battles do not diminish his popularity among a significant portion of Panamanians. The upcoming elections will ultimately determine the direction of the country’s political landscape and its immigration policies, with the potential for significant impacts on Panama’s future.

Mulino’s Background and Experience

Meet José Raúl Mulino, a 64-year-old lawyer who brings a wealth of political experience to his presidential campaign in Panama. Having actively participated in the Civilist Crusade against the Manuel Antonio Noriega dictatorship from 1983 to 1989, Mulino has long been dedicated to promoting democratic values and fighting for the rights of the Panamanian people.

Following the US invasion that removed Noriega from power, Mulino served as the foreign minister for President Guillermo Endara from 1989 to 1994. His role in the post-invasion government showcases his ability to navigate complex political landscapes and work towards national stability.

With a background in law, Mulino’s expertise in legal matters further enhances his credibility as a presidential candidate. He understands the intricacies of policy-making and the importance of upholding the rule of law in the best interests of the Panamanian people.

Overall, Mulino’s extensive political involvement, including his leadership in the Civilist Crusade and experience as foreign minister, positions him as a qualified candidate ready to lead Panama into a new era of progress and development.

immigration crisis in Panama


Key Achievements and Experiences
Leader in the Civilist Crusade against the Manuel Antonio Noriega dictatorship (1983-1989)
Foreign Minister for President Guillermo Endara (1989-1994)
Experience in law and legal expertise

Mulino’s Support for International Cooperation

Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino recognizes the importance of international collaboration in addressing the immigration challenge faced by Panama. He highlights the need for trilateral cooperation among the United States, Colombia, and Panama to find comprehensive solutions that go beyond the immediate closure of the Darién jungle.

By actively engaging with neighboring countries and international partners, Mulino aims to redefine Panama’s role in immigration policy and ensure that the country is not seen merely as a transit point for immigrants. Through cooperative efforts, the goal is to develop sustainable measures that prioritize human rights while addressing the underlying causes of migration.

Mulino’s vision for Panama’s immigration policy emphasizes the significance of respecting the rights of migrants while simultaneously safeguarding the interests of the country. By joining forces with the United States and Colombia, Mulino recognizes the shared responsibility of all nations involved in this pressing issue.

“We cannot solve the immigration challenge alone. It requires a collective effort, with open lines of communication and mutual understanding among our neighboring countries and international partners. Only by working together can we find long-term, effective solutions.”

Furthermore, Mulino believes that international cooperation is crucial for the appropriate repatriation of individuals who have attempted the hazardous journey through the Darién jungle. In doing so, Panama can ensure that the repatriation process is carried out in a humane and dignified manner, reflecting the country’s commitment to upholding human rights standards.

Collaborative Approach for Sustainable Solutions

Through the establishment of coordinated initiatives, Mulino envisions the development of programs that address the root causes driving migration. This includes the provision of economic support, education, and healthcare in countries of origin, aimed at creating opportunities and improving living conditions, thus reducing the need for individuals to undertake perilous journeys.

Additionally, Mulino emphasizes the importance of fostering dialogue and cooperation with international organizations, such as the United Nations and regional bodies like the Organization of American States. Through such partnerships, Panama can leverage collective resources and expertise to develop comprehensive policies that address the multifaceted challenges of migration.

Pending Court Decision and Electoral Process

Mulino’s candidacy is currently under review by the Supreme Court as it was directly appointed by Martinelli without going through the required party primaries, in accordance with the electoral code. The decision on Mulino’s candidacy has not yet been announced, making the court’s ruling a significant factor in the ongoing electoral process. Mulino has expressed concerns that annulling his candidacy could potentially undermine the integrity of the entire election.

panama electoral process

Court Ruling: A Pivotal Moment for Panama’s Election

The pending court decision concerning Mulino’s candidacy holds immense importance for the future of the electoral process in Panama. The direct appointment of Mulino as a presidential candidate, bypassing the traditional party primaries, has sparked debates and legal scrutiny. The Supreme Court’s ruling will determine whether Mulino will remain a contender in the race for the presidency or if his candidacy will be annulled.

“The court’s decision on Mulino’s candidacy will shape the course of the electoral process, and its impact goes beyond his campaign,” said political analyst Maria Lopez. “It could set a precedent for future elections and establish clearer guidelines regarding the appointment of candidates.”

Concerns Over Electoral Integrity

Mulino has voiced his concerns regarding the potential annulment of his candidacy. He believes that removing him from the electoral race could have adverse effects on the overall integrity of the elections, causing doubts among voters and undermining public trust in the democratic process. The Supreme Court’s decision will not only determine Mulino’s fate but also have far-reaching implications for the legitimacy and transparency of Panama’s electoral system.

Public Speculation and Political Implications

The pending court decision has ignited speculation among the public and political circles. Supporters of Mulino argue that his direct appointment was justified given his experience and popularity among voters. However, critics believe that party primaries should be the standard procedure for candidate selection to ensure a fair and transparent electoral process. The court’s ruling will either validate or challenge these arguments, potentially indicating a shift in Panama’s electoral landscape.

Panama’s Migration Challenges

Panama faces significant challenges regarding migration, particularly with the increasing number of migrants using the Darién jungle route to reach the United States. This issue has put pressure on Panama’s immigration policy, necessitating comprehensive reforms.

Addressing the Darién migrants issue requires a holistic approach that encompasses multiple dimensions. First and foremost, Panama needs to strengthen its immigration policy to effectively manage the flow of migrants. This entails establishing robust border control measures and implementing efficient screening processes for individuals entering the country.

Furthermore, international cooperation is crucial in addressing this migration challenge. Collaborative efforts between Panama, the United States, and other relevant countries are essential to effectively manage the migration flow and ensure the safety and well-being of migrants. Sharing resources, intelligence, and best practices can help streamline migration processes and contribute to comprehensive solutions.

The closure of the Darién jungle route would be a significant step towards reshaping Panama’s immigration policy. By sealing off this route, Panama can discourage migrants from embarking on the perilous journey through the treacherous jungle. This action would not only protect the migrants from potential dangers but also alleviate the burden on Panama’s resources.

It is vital to address the underlying causes of migration, including economic instability, political turmoil, and humanitarian crises in countries of origin. Strategies aimed at fostering economic development, promoting stability, and resolving conflicts in these regions can contribute to long-term solutions, reducing the necessity for migration.

By taking a comprehensive approach to address the Darién migrants issue and reforming its immigration policy, Panama can navigate the complex challenges of migration while upholding human rights, ensuring the safety of migrants, and protecting the interests of its citizens.

Table: Comparative Overview of Panama’s Immigration Policy

Previous Policy New Policy Proposals
Border Control Limited surveillance and security measures Strengthened control with advanced surveillance technology
Screening Process Inefficient and inadequate screening procedures Enhanced screening protocols to ensure accuracy and thoroughness
International Cooperation Minimal collaboration with neighboring countries and the United States Increased partnerships and information sharing among relevant countries
Repatriation Fragmented and inconsistent repatriation processes Streamlined and humane repatriation procedures

In conclusion, Panama’s migration challenges, particularly the influx of migrants using the Darién jungle route, require a comprehensive and collaborative approach. By implementing effective immigration policies, strengthening border control, and fostering international cooperation, Panama can address these challenges while safeguarding the rights of migrants and upholding its responsibilities as a nation.


Presidential candidate José Raúl Mulino’s vow to close the Darién jungle to migrants has struck a chord with the people of Panama. Despite facing legal challenges to his candidacy, Mulino’s firm stance on immigration and commitment to international cooperation have resonated with voters concerned about the growing number of migrants utilizing the Darién route. As the nation’s frontrunner in the polls, Mulino’s electoral success would signify a significant shift in Panama’s immigration policy and shape the country’s political landscape.

With the upcoming elections just around the corner, Panama’s future hinges on the direction chosen by its citizens. Mulino’s proposal to close off the Darién jungle represents a pivotal moment in addressing Panama’s migration challenges. As voters weigh the impact of immigration on the nation, they consider Mulino’s vow as a potential solution to the pressing issue at hand. The outcome of the elections will decide the fate of his pledge, paving the way for a more definitive approach to immigration and shaping the political trends in Panama.

As Panama wrestles with the influx of migrants and the complexities surrounding immigration, Mulino’s candidacy has emerged as a beacon of hope for those seeking stronger border controls. In a country where political trends shift rapidly, Mulino’s unwavering commitment to sealing off the Darién jungle has positioned him as a frontrunner in the race. While the legal battles surrounding his candidacy persist, Mulino’s overarching vision for Panama’s immigration policy reverberates with voters who believe it is time for decisive action.


What is José Raúl Mulino’s stance on immigration?

José Raúl Mulino believes that Panama should not serve as a transit country for immigrants and aims to close the Darién jungle route to migrants heading to the United States.

What did Mulino promise during his electoral tour?

During his electoral tour, Mulino pledged to close the Darién jungle as a means to reshape Panama’s immigration policy.

How does Mulino respond to Ricardo Martinelli’s asylum?

Mulino denied that he would pardon former president Ricardo Martinelli if elected, emphasizing Martinelli’s desire for a review of his process to prove his innocence.

What measures does Mulino plan to take to close the Darién jungle?

While Mulino did not specify the exact measures, he intends to work together with the United States, Colombia, and Panama to find a comprehensive solution to the migration issue and ensure the repatriation of individuals.

How popular is Mulino in the polls?

Currently leading in the polls with a voting intention of 34%, Mulino is the frontrunner in the Panama elections.

What is Mulino’s background and experience?

Mulino, a 64-year-old lawyer, was one of the leaders of the Civilist Crusade opposing the Noriega dictatorship in the 1980s. He later served as the foreign minister for President Guillermo Endara and brings his political and legal experience to his presidential candidacy.

What is Mulino’s stance on international cooperation?

Mulino emphasizes the need for trilateral collaboration among the United States, Colombia, and Panama to address the immigration issue.

What is the status of Mulino’s candidacy?

Mulino’s candidacy is currently under review by the Supreme Court due to his direct appointment by Martinelli, bypassing party primaries. The court’s decision could impact the integrity of the electoral process.

What are the migration challenges faced by Panama?

Panama faces significant challenges regarding migration, particularly with the increasing number of migrants using the Darién jungle route to reach the United States.

How does Mulino’s pledge to close the Darién jungle reflect current political trends in Panama?

Mulino’s pledge to close the Darién jungle resonates with voters concerned about immigration and reflects a push for stricter immigration policies in Panama.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop