Wednesday 8 February 2023

4.9% of the Nicaraguan population left their country in 2022

Costa Rica immigration authorities reported that, between January and November 2022, 76,676 refugee applications were from Nicaraguan

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Q24N – A total of 328,443 Nicaraguans left the country in 2022, representing 4.9% of the country’s population, estimated at 6,664,400 inhabitants, the digital newspaper Confidencial reported on Monday, citing official figures from the countries receiving migrants.

Migrants cross the Rio Grande in a sector of the border area of ​​El Paso, Texas. Photo: Taken from El Paso Matters/Corrie Boudreaux

This is a record number in the contemporary history of Nicaragua, Manuel Orozco, a specialist in migration issues and a researcher at the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue center for political analysis and exchange, reported Confidencial.

The article “Year of the exodus: 328,000 Nicaraguans left the country in 2022” points out that between January and November 2022, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 181,566 arrests of Nicaraguan migrants at the US borders.

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Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, between January and November 2022, immigration authorities reported receiving 76,676 refugee applications from Nicaraguans.

The other 70,201 Nicaraguans left for other destinations, such as Spain, Panama, Mexico, Canada, El Salvador and Guatemala, according to the digital newspaper run by exiled Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, the youngest son of the former president of Nicaragua Violeta Barrios de Chamorro.

In three years, 504,485 Nicaraguans (7.6% of the total population) have left Nicaragua, noted Confidencial, which pointed out the sociopolitical and human rights crisis that the country has been experiencing since April 2018, and economic reasons, such as the causes of that massive exodus.

“The truth is that people leave, and the departures have increased, and that is one of the first signs in human rights that things are not going well,” explained Alberto Brunori, representative of the Regional Office. for Central America of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Oacnudh), in the ‘Esta Noche’ program, directed by Chamorro.

The United States is the main destination for Nicaraguan migrants, Confidencial said.

Last November, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 34,292 arrests of Nicaraguans, that is, 12% of the total arrests of migrants of different nationalities, for an average of 1,143 per day.

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“Nicaraguans persecuted by the Daniel Ortega regime have arrived in that country, who left under pressure due to the increasingly difficult economic situation, and Sandinista officials and militants who deserted from the ranks of the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) in the face of pressure and internal conflicts,” said Confidencial.

The reality is that Nicaraguans have left like never before due to the worsening political situation, Orozco said.


To this, Orozco added, we must add the ‘migration begets migration’ effect.

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“The transnational networks that emerged in 2020 and 2021 confirmed that the Nicaragua-United States route is viable to request asylum. This feasibility is measured in relation to the cost of emigrating, how to do it and the possibility of entering the United States,” explained the specialist.

Nicaragua received a new record of US$2.578 billion dollars in remittances between January and October 2022, 47.6% more than in the same period of 2021, according to data from the Central Bank of Nicaragua.

The figure represents 18.4% of Nicaragua’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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