US Homeland Security chief tours Panama jungle migrant camp

US Homeland Security chief tours Panama jungle migrant camp
Acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, center, walks during a ceremony for police officers fallen in action, at the Panama Border Police headquarter in Meteti, Panama, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

PENITAS, Panama (AP) — The acting U.S. Homeland Security secretary has visited a camp with hundreds of migrants who survived the perilous jungle border crossing from Colombia to Panama.

Kevin McAleenan arrived in Penitas shortly before midday Friday and was briefed on the camp’s operations and the physical conditions of those who crossed the region known as the Darien Gap.

He did not interact with the migrants, who come mostly from Haiti, Cuba, Africa or Asia.

Panamanian authorities estimate that more than 10,000 people have crossed through Darien so far this year. It’s a roadless, lawless place where stories abound of migrants suffering robbery, sexual assault or murder during the trek.

McAleenan’s visit came on the last day of a three-day trip to Panama.