St-Laurent-du-Maroni may be on the margins of the Amazon forest, but it is on the front lines of illegal immigration. Every kind of trafficking can be found in French Guiana’s second-largest city – including human trafficking. The city bears striking witness to the massive arrival of illegal immigrants from Haiti or Brazil. In 1968 the city counted fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, but today there are more than 50,000. With its population constantly growing, the schools are ready to burst. Enrollment is currently 9,800, and the number increases 10% every year. Hospitals are overflowing for the same reason – and the drug trade from Suriname inevitably comes through town.

Reporting by Peggy Bruguière and Pep Bonet for France 24.

Diffuseur / BroadcasterFrance 24Durée / Duration13'Année / Year2018