• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

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:


Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years.

Support the Tico Times

You may be interested

Surge in young migrant border arrivals poses challenge for United States
Central America
3741 views
Central America
3741 views

Surge in young migrant border arrivals poses challenge for United States

Laura BONILLA / AFP - March 6, 2021

Thousands of minors without papers are arriving at the US border with Mexico, presenting President Joe Biden with a potentially…

Six arrested in Costa Rica with 1.1 metric tons of cocaine
Costa Rica
1437 views
Costa Rica
1437 views

Six arrested in Costa Rica with 1.1 metric tons of cocaine

AFP and The Tico Times - March 6, 2021

Costa Rican authorities seized 1.1 metric tons of cocaine and detained six men — four Colombians and two Costa Ricans…

One year after first case, Costa Rica to broadcast Covid memorial
Costa Rica
1227 views
Costa Rica
1227 views

One year after first case, Costa Rica to broadcast Covid memorial

The Tico Times - March 5, 2021

Costa Rica confirmed its first coronavirus case on March 6, 2020. By the end of the month, the country had…