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Adventure Tourism in the Darien Inspired a Social Media Firestorm: and Misinformation

Adventure Tourism in the Darien Inspired a Social Media Firestorm: and Misinformation

We spoke with a journalist who has worked in the deadly migration corridor about what is really going on
Migrants cross the Darien Gap (Photo Jordan Stern)

We have a special pirate treat! Today our feature story is a podcast! It had been a while since we released one and it felt about time. Feel free to stream it here or download for later.

Last week a German tourism company that offers $4000 USD tours of the Darien Gap —the most dangerous migration corridor in the Americas— elicited a firestorm of criticism.

Some journalists erroneously claimed that the company, which provides guides and helicopter evac in case of a medical emergency, was profiting from and exploiting migration, which has expanded radically in recent years and has claimed hundreds of lives.

However, PWS reached out to some of the companies and learned the situation isn’t quite what Colombian media claimed. Most have been operating for decades, and none offer tours anywhere near migrant corridors.

In order to examine the dynamic further, we invited Jordan Stern, a photographer who has crossed the gap and long covered migration from various countries in South and Central America, to explain what he thought.

From his point of view, the programs say more about the criminalization of migration in general and the governments who have forced migrants into life-threatening situations than it does about the insensitivity of European tour companies.

But that’s not the say the dynamic isn’t without problems.

Listen to the fascinating conversation with someone who understands the dangers of the Darien Gap all too well.

And tell us what you think! Should these companies take their extreme jungle treks elsewhere?

Photos Jordan took of the Darien Gap during field work there

You can find a multi-media piece by Jordan Stern (and Joshua) on exactly what it means to cross the Darien Gap here, and the dangers migrants face beyond.

We will be back Wednesday with a Ship’s Log for paid subscribers, and the weekly written feature on Friday, which includes the weekly news wrap-up and the Spanish word of the week.

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Pirate Wire Services
Pirate Wire Radio
Original journalism on Latin America, from discussion on current events to deeply human narratives, to crime and drugs