Fall 2023 Charlas con Café | Hourglass Enforcement: Panama’s Controlled Flow Migration Policy in the Darien Gap

with Caitlyn Yates

Caitlyn Yates


1 to 2 p.m., Oct. 20, 2023


Join the Center for Latin American Studies for our weekly Fall 2023 Charlas con Café – a space where we engage with a wide variety of experts and discuss topics relevant to the Latin American region, Fridays from 1-2 pm (unless otherwise specified). Coffee & snacks starting at 12:30pm.

This is a hybrid event. To join via Zoom, please register here

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in government-run migrant camps in Panama’s Darien province, this talk explores the human and material effects of Panama’s immigration enforcement policy known as “controlled flow” on the growing number of migrants making the trek through the so-called Darien Gap. The talk focuses on three themes that illuminate the unique dynamics and challenges inherent in migration through the Darien Gap: how a migration policy can mostly relegate transitory migration; how a policy designed to push migrants onward manages (in)voluntary immobility; and how migrants experience a singular immigration enforcement policy in unequal ways. 

Caitlyn Yates is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on transit migration, human security, immigration enforcement policies, and borders in Latin America. In particular, Yates focuses on the experiences of Caribbean, African, & Asian migrants through the Colombia-Panama borderlands frequently referred to as the Darien Gap. Her work has been published in Public Anthropologist, the Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, and Victims & Offenders. 

Location: Marshall Bldg. Suite 280

Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm.