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Costa Rican immigration officials detained, released by Nicaragua

November 21, 2018

A potentially tense international situation was resolved amicably Monday evening after two Costa Rican Immigration Administration officials were apparently detained by the Nicaraguan army.

According to Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security (MSP), the officials had been carrying out work in a government vehicle Monday afternoon when they were stopped near the Upala canton, which borders Nicaragua. Following diplomatic communications, the pair were returned safely to Costa Rica that night.

“After positive coordination [between Nicaragua and the Ministry of Public Security], at 8 p.m. exactly, they were liberated and returned to our territory,” said Michael Soto, the Minister of Public Security. “They are in perfect health and had no other inconveniences.

“It was an assertive and positive communication with Nicaraguan authorities to prevent the incident from escalating.”

Per the MSP, the Costa Rican Immigration Administration officials had turned away a Nicaraguan citizen near the border prior to their detainment. They had been “proper in their actions,” according to a press release.

However, the officials may have entered Nicaraguan territory, though the MSP says that is “still being investigated.”

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, at least 20,000 Nicaraguans have sought asylum in Costa Rica since April as citizens of that country flee political tensions and human-rights violations.

For more, read “Fleeing Nicaragua,” The Tico Times’ three-part series on Nicaraguan refugees:


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