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© Peggy Bruguière | On the River Maroni in the Amazon rainforest. Surinam is one side, French Guiana on the other.

Video: French Guiana battles with migrant influx, drug trafficking

Latest update : 2018-01-26

By Peggy BRUGUIÈRE

In Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, French Guiana's second-largest city, one in three residents is foreign and often there illegally. To reach this South American region of overseas France, many illegal immigrants arrive from neighbouring Surinam by crossing the River Maroni. Shanty towns are now swelling, infrastructure is inadequate, and maternity units are overcrowded. Meanwhile, drug traffickers are thriving and are recruiting thousands of unemployed young people to smuggle cocaine over to Paris.

>> Watch our report: "The fight against illegal gold mining in French Guiana"

>> Also read our story "Rockets in the jungle: Understanding French Guiana’s social unrest"