Migrants at the Paso Canos border with Panama with transit visa board a bus to the northen border with Nicaragua.
Migrants at the Paso Canos border with Panama with transit visas boarding a bus to the northen border with Nicaragua. Photo Jose Cordero, La Nacion

(QCOSTARICA) 95% of the migrants camped out in the northern and southern border points of the country are Haitians posing as Africans, to avoid deportation to their country of origin.

This was confirmed by Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Manuel Gonzalez, who said that the national authorities were able to detect this strategy, after interviewing several of them.

“Every time we see they are not Africans, but rather they Haitians (…). They say they are Africans, it does not suit them to say they are Haitians, because other conditions apply to them and, of course, the possibility of deportation to Haiti is closer than if we had to, to an African country,” said Gonzalez.

Related: Nicaragua Promises ‘Orderly and Safe’ Transit Of Migrants

In the statement the Minister inferred that the cost is the determining factor if they are deported or not.

The government estimates some 2,000 migrants, as of August 4, are in the country waiting to be able to move north, through Nicaragua and the rest of Central America to their final destination, the United States.

But hundreds more are arriving from Panama daily, overwhelming the resources of the immigration service to handle the influx and the social service’s ability to meet their needs.

A few days ago, the government of Luis Guillermo Solis, said the flow is constant and unstoppable. To that end, the government issued an order for increased policing in the area.

The transit of migrants through Costa Rica is not new. Thousands each year arrive in the country from Panama, moving north to Nicaragua and forward to their final destination. Last October, Nicaragua closed its border to the migrants, causing a crisis when more than 8,000 Cuban nationals were stuck on the Costa Rica side of the border, forcing the government to seek out as solution with other members of the isthmus to enable them to reach Mexico, to then cross into the U.S.

Nicaragua has been the hold out.

But there is good news from Managua. On Saturday, the government of Daniel Ortega announced it has in the words a number of mechanisms to ensure a “safe and orderly” transit of persons through its territory. Click here for the report.

Source: La Nacion

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