The Government of Costa Rica has installed an area base on the border with Nicaragua and added more police to monitor and prevent the illegal entry of Nicaraguans to Costa Rica through unauthorized crossings or through the Peñas Blancas and Las Tablillas immigration posts.
Up to Friday, 5,357 foreigners, mostly from Nicaragua, were rejected at the border in their attempt to enter the country that has prohibited the entry of all foreigners, the Ministry of Public Security reported.
The border controls have even intercepted 60 vehicles transporting illegals.
Also, 1,350 residents or people with work permits in Costa Rica were prevented from re-entering the country, for having left the national territory after March 23, during the period of the health emergency and measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – immigration service – said it will initiate a process to cancel their immigration status.
“With this police deployment we are protecting all the people who live in our country, guaranteeing that there are no illegal entries, safeguarding Costa Rican public health and security,” said Vice President Epsy Campbell, who together with Security Minister Michael Soto inspected the northern border on Friday.
“We want to assure the citizens that everything within our reach is being done. The number of officers we regularly have at the border has multiplied, and it is going to multiply more. We have surveillance at strategic points in the border cordon and along the highway,” added Campbell.
— Seguridad Pública (@seguridadcrc) April 7, 2020
Soto announced that an alternate airbase was installed in Las Tablillas to maintain permanent air surveillance.
“Costa Ricans must have the guarantee and security of the work we are carrying out … The work of monitoring meter by meter is complicated, but we are making the maximum effort,” said the Security Minister.
Soto added explained that the flow of Nicaraguans headed for their country during this Semana Santa has been much less than usual.
Typically, for the Easter holidays, there is an exodus of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans headed for their homeland and then returning. This year, the fear of not being able to return, and the travel restrictions, including fewer buses, are among the factor of the low number of travelers.
Hemos instalado una base aérea alterna en Las Tablillas para mantener vigilancia parmanente desde el aire de todo el cordón fronterizo con Nicaragua. Utilizamos también drones para garantizar que nadie ingrese de manera irregular al país #FronterasSeguras #CRcontraElCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/CHC0ItiHNY
— Epsy Campbell Barr (@epsycampbell) April 10, 2020
For his part, the director of the Border Police (Policía de Fronteras), Allan Obando, stressed that the teamwork of all the officers and the use of technology such as drones has allowed the operation to run successfully, and with unprecedented results.
The director of the Policia de Transito, Germán Marín, reported that his officials have been working around the clock to enforce the vehicular restrictions and stop the transport of those illegally entering the country.