Deadly journey: US-Mexico Border
US-Mexico Border

Deadly journey: US-Mexico Border

US-Mexico Border: World's deadliest migration route

The deadliest migration route

The US-Mexico border stands as the world's deadliest land migration route, as per the UN migration agency's latest figures. In 2022, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) documented 686 deaths and disappearances among migrants on this perilous frontier. However, the actual toll is likely higher due to missing data, including from Texas border county coroner's offices and the Mexican search and rescue agency.

This deadly route cuts through vast deserts, canyons, and cactus-filled hills, subjecting migrants to extreme conditions. In summer, heatstroke is a grave risk, while winter brings hypothermia. Tragically, some bodies are never recovered.

A call for legal migration pathways

Paul Dillon, IOM's spokesperson, stressed that these figures represent the minimum estimates available and underscored the urgent need for creating regular legal migration pathways. Nearly half of the recorded deaths last year occurred during crossings of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts.

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The number of deaths and disappearances documented along the US-Mexico border accounts for almost half of the 1,457 cases recorded throughout the Americas in 2022. A worrying trend emerged in the Caribbean, where deaths on migration routes increased significantly. In 2022, 350 deaths were documented, compared to 245 in 2021. Most victims hailed from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.

Challenges in the Darien Gap

The Darien Gap, a treacherous jungle border crossing between Panama and Colombia, witnessed 141 documented migrant deaths last year. Yet, due to its remote and perilous nature, this figure likely underestimates the actual loss of lives. In response, Panama has introduced new measures to combat the rising migrant crossings through the Darien Gap, which reached an all-time high this year.

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