QCOSTARICA – This morning (Tuesday) a group of African migrants stranded in Paso Canoas, peacefully demonstrated against Costa Rica’s thread of deportation to their home country.
With chants and posters, the migrants repudiated the position of the Costa Rica government, that deportation is the only solution to the immigration crisis at the southern border with Panama.
“Justice”, “Africa”, “We are immigrants, we want to pass through”, “We need the presence of the UN and OAS”, read some of the posters.
Several of the leaders of the protest expressed gratitude to the Costa Rican people for their hospitality and insisted that their intention is not to stay in the country, but continue their journey to the United States.
Wilson Camara, one of the representatatives of the migrants, said he met with government officials, who told him that the deportation process would likely begin in 60 to 90 days.
The Africans say returning to their country poses a risk to their lives.
Last week, a group of some 200 migrants at the Peñas Blancas (Nicaragua) border were returned to the southern border with Panama, where they were refused entry by Panamanian officials, leaving them in limbo.
Since, the Fuerza Publica (police) and Policia de Fronteras (border police) are in place to prevent the entry of the Africans into Costa Rican territory.
Nicaragua has closed its borders to the African migrants. Costa Rica wants to prevent a repeat of the Cuban migrant crisis that began last November and lasted into March when Nicaragua closed its borders to the Cubans.