Necoclí: Last Stop Before a Harder Trek Onwards

The small town of Necloci, an already abandoned city, an internal tourism beach town with its own issues, now faces a grave human sanitary and economic crisis because it now holds over 20,000 people.

While a lot of the media has been focused on the massive gathering and deportations in the United States, where a very large group of migrant Haitian families, men, women and children, gathered in Del Rio, Texas, facing off to whipped equipped border patrols on horses, but also to hunger, dehydration, and other inhumane conditions and human rights violations, we can also shift the focus of this crisis to other countries in the Americas, such as Chile, Brazil, Panama and Colombia, and our Haitian brothers, sisters and siblings, facing similar situations.

Enters Necoclí. A small town (525 mi²) and municipality in Antioquia Department in Colombia, South America, in essence a beach town, that as of July turned into a tent city. A city that until recently was the home of approximately 70,824 residents (2020 Colombian census), today adds over 20,000 migrants. Which brings with it several complications that are unrelated to Haitians or any other migrants, and have to do with lack of basic infrastructures, such as access to health, sanitation. All in the end, basic human rights.

The Colombian and the Panamanian government have agreed on transporting no more than 500 migrants per day, but this does not mean that migrants do not stop coming and the small town isn't growing at it seams. Haitians are awaiting transfer from Necocli by boat to Acandi, to then start their journey to what is known as the ‘Tapon del Darien’. In this dense part of the region, there are no roads to connect the two countries, only a separation by the Darién jungle. A very dangerous area, controlled by various drug-trafficking gangs, where women and girls have reported being raped multiple times, where women have been kidnapped and children have come up missing. But right now, this is the only way for migrants to continue their journey. In complete danger, and migrants deserve better. Black migrants deserve better.

Haitians and their families in Necocli have fled from the economic, political and social crisis in their nation of Haiti, which was a decade ago, and a month ago also hit by an earthquake, which is only part of the crisis that has plagued Haiti and its people. Haitian People are more than just economic migrants. They are fleeing marginalization, natural disasters, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and state violence. They are fleeing to pursue their human right to live, thrive, and enjoy basic human necessities. They migrate to countries with no legal rights and threats of violence out of desperation; their migration is fraught with complexities, which are frequently denied because they are Black bodies. Other migrant groups or individuals are not treated in the same way as Haitians along the U.S. border or in the countries mentioned above.

Boat carrying Haitians arriving in Acandi, Colombia from Necocli, Luisa Gonzalez

The current deportations from the United States are not holding Haitians migration journey. Their journey is being guided by self determination, by their quest for a better future for their lives and their families lives, and for commitment to their human rights.

We at AfroResistance are calling out the anti-blackness, government hypocrisy, and human rights violations against the Haitian people in the United States and worldwide. We are urging governments to uphold international laws and norms that govern the asylum process.

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