Costa Rica Coffee Guide

More than 100 African migrants caught entering Costa Rica illegally

March 30, 2016

Police detained 116 migrants from Africa and Asia crossing Costa Rica’s southern border with Panama on Monday, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry and the Immigration Administration. The immigration stop came after the government announced it would increase its police presence in the Southern Zone because of large numbers of Cuban migrants camped out just across the border in Panama.

The migrants, who did not have authorization to enter Costa Rica, were traveling on foot in groups of roughly 20 to 25 people, according to Public Security spokeswoman Patricia Meléndez. The largest number of migrants were from Ghana but authorities also detained people from Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria and Mali, among other African countries. One migrant was from Afghanistan.

Immigration officials accepted refugee applications from 60 of the 116 migrants. The remaining 56 were returned to Panama, according to Immigration Administration spokeswoman Seidy Muñoz.

No arrests were made for human smuggling.

The overland route north through Central America to the United States and Canada is well known to migrants from outside the Western Hemisphere. Migrants from Africa and Asia fly to South American countries that do not require visas and then cross illegally into neighboring countries to reach North America.

This is the same path that thousands of Cuban migrants started using in increasing number during the last several years, culminating in a four-month immigration crisis in Costa Rica when a border dispute with Nicaragua left 7,800 migrants stranded here. Most of those migrants have since made it to the U.S.

Recommended: Costa Rica winds down humanitarian mission for Cuban migrants with presidential send-off

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 9, 2020
Costa Rica
21253 views
Costa Rica
21253 views

Costa Rica coronavirus data for July 9, 2020

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

Costa Rica confirmed 649 new cases of the coronavirus over the past day, totaling 6,485 cumulative known cases, the Health…

Costa Rica previews new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital
Costa Rica
7560 views
Costa Rica
7560 views

Costa Rica previews new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

Costa Rican authorities on Thursday previewed a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José, which could be used…

News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airports
Costa Rica
4729 views
Costa Rica
4729 views

News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airports

Alejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…