Thursday 29 September 2022

Nicaraguans try to enter Costa Rica through the San Juan River, despite the closure of borders

A lot of Nicaragua is desperate to cross

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29 September 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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In boats of up to 50 people, Nicaraguans try to enter Costa Rica, that keeps its borders closed to them and all foreigners that are not residents.

Through the Sarapiquí area in Costa Rica, many Nicaraguans have tried to enter Costa Rica illegally, despite restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic and the intensified operations of the immigration police and border police of the Fuerza Publica.

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Sarapiqui is one of the “blind spots” – points used by illegals to enter and exit Costa Rica undetected by authorities. Sectors near the San Juan River, Trinidad, Las Marías, La Tigra, Fátima and Boca Sarapiquí are some examples.

“From different points, you can see boats with Nicaraguans, who try to dock on the Costa Rican side in an irregular way (illegally), however, in the presence of the police and land custody actions, the boats do not approach the Tica shore to dock, opting for continuing to San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua,” reported Costa Rica’s immigration service on their social networks.

Boats up to 50 passengers

Costa Rica has deployed officers from the different police forces to protect the borders, which will continue closed until April 30 (extended from April 12). There are also mobility restrictions throughout the entire country, and the government announced that legal residents leaving during the emergency period would not be able to re-enter.

During the national emergency, Costa Rica is allowing only the entry of citizens and legal residents, who are then subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.

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Although the immigration police control illegal control points across the 309 kilometer long border, migrants find ways of crossing, in either direction.

On a permanent basis, immigration officers are carrying out prevention work, in particular along the San Juan River, during this national emergency, their work is intensified. There is a police presence in different points, improvised berths, moving according to the movements of people, ensuring that no one enters or leaves illegally.

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Since the closure of the borders, immigration authorities report more than 5,000 people have been rejected trying to enter the country, the majority of them Nicaraguans.

A resident of the Delta Costa Rica area told La Teja that “it is not a secret to anyone that they enter here, at different times of the year, one is sad, because they come to work and because they give them medical attention or whatever, but right now nobody knows how things are in Nicaragua and literally as they and we say, we are just crossing the San Juan away, there is a lot of police presence, but we don’t know how long they going to be able to (cross) with so much police”.

No one says anything about the coronavirus

“A lot of Nicaragua is desperate to cross and you constantly see the boats, overloaded with people … We have a family in Guápiles and we are afraid to go there because one is afraid of carrying the virus to them … we will have to see what will happen next week,” a man identified only as Castro told La Prensa in Nicaragua.

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