Saturday 18 September 2021

Costa Rica and Panama Presidents To Meet To Discuss Migrant Crisis Affecting Both Countries

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Despite the 'closed' border policy, more than 1,500 migrants are in Panama receiving humanitarian support that includes food and medical help. Many others are allowed to pass into Costa Rica where they become stranded due to Nicaragua's continuing policy of closing its borders to migrants. Photo La Prensa
Despite the ‘closed’ border policy, migrants continue to arrive in Panama receiving humanitarian support that includes food and medical help. Many others are allowed to pass into Costa Rica where they become stranded due to Nicaragua’s continuing policy of closing its borders to migrants. Photo La Prensa

(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solis is expected to soon meet, in Panama, with his Panamanian counterpart, Juan Carlos Varela, to discuss the migratory crisis.
The announcement was made in Panama by Manuel Domínguez, State Communication Secretary, explaining that the meeting is expected to take place between September 15th and 20th, in an undisclosed area in the province of Chiriquí, according to La Prensa.
The meeting between the two presidents hopes to find a solution to the illegal migration of Haitians, Africans and Cubans, that has increased over the last months in the region.
The migrants continue to arrive in Panama despite that country’s controversial policy of closing its borders, but assisting and letting them pass into Costa Rica. Every week up to 300 or more migrants arrive in Panama from Colombia.
For Costa Rica, the problem is heightened given that Nicaragua continues with a closed border policy for migrants, stopping them from reaching their destination, the United States, remaining stranded in the country.

The Latin American countries have requested a top level meeting with representatives of the U.S.  The Foreign Ministers of Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru have sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, voicing their deep concern regarding the negative effects of his country’s policies on irregular immigration, and its impact in our region.

“We believe that a revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the dry-foot/wet-foot policy, would be a first step to stop improve of the complex situation and part of a definite solution to ensure organized and regular migration in our region”, the letter states.

So far no official response has been received.
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