Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Authorities Suspect Coyotes In Haitian Refugee Boom

December 23, 2005

RISING numbers of Haitians in Costa Rica could be the result of trickery by “coyotes” – people paid to help others cross borders illegally. The Costa Rican chapter of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) suspects coyotes, considered human traffickers, of convincing their clients to seek refugee status by lying about being persecuted in Haiti.

 

“The phenomenon is visible and these are very vulnerable cases,” UNHCR spokesman Giovanni Monge told the daily La Nación. “We highly suspect that there’s a network of human trafficking in Panama – they cross the border to Costa Rica, go to Immigration and sometimes tell the same stories to seek refugee status,” he said.

 

In 2005, Immigration received 100 petitions for refugee status from Haitians, but only five were awarded the status because the others could not prove a well-founded fear of persecution, the fundamental prerequisite for receiving such a status.

 

While their immigration status is determined, these Haitians work as street vendors in downtown San José, most selling potato chips and toasted plantains, and live in small, rented rooms. The UNHCR and Immigration authorities, which work together with the refugee population and refuge seekers, suspect coyotes charge Haitians up to $3,000 to bring them to Costa Rica, though it is assumed their final destination is the United States.

 

Of Haiti’s 8.3 million people, 80% live in poverty and an estimated 70% are unemployed. The average life span is 52 years and infant mortality is 103 per 1,000.

 

In Costa Rica, there are 16 Haitian refugees, one Haitian granted political asylum, five temporary residents and 54 permanent residents. Many of them have stayed in Costa Rica by marrying Costa Rican women.

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30
Costa Rica
5591 views
Costa Rica
5591 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Wednesday, September 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 30, 2020

Costa Rica announced 24 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 904, according to official data…

Some 34 million jobs lost in Latin America due to pandemic
Business
3342 views
Business
3342 views

Some 34 million jobs lost in Latin America due to pandemic

Carlos MANDUJANO / AFP - September 30, 2020

The two aspirers for the presidency of Costa Rica, the evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado and the former minister Carlos Alvarado, reach the closing of the electoral campaign for April 1st with a technical draw, according to a poll disclosed this Friday.

CureVac launches second stage of vaccine clinical trials in Peru and Panama
News
21364 views
News
21364 views

CureVac launches second stage of vaccine clinical trials in Peru and Panama

AFP - September 30, 2020

The German pharmaceutical company CureVac announced that it has started Phase 2 clinical trials of its experimental vaccine against Covid-19,…