In response to the growing influx of migrants arriving from Panama, Costa Rican authorities initiated a revised boarding protocol over the weekend at the southern border crossing in Corredores.
The most notable change involves bypassing the migrant processing center at the Ciudad Neily Fairgrounds. Buses carrying migrants from Panama will now head directly to the Temporary Migrant Attention Center (CATEM) for streamlined processing.
This adjustment aims to mitigate overcrowding issues that had arisen in Corredores when migrants were scattered across various locales while awaiting processing. Officials hope centralizing operations at CATEM will ease pressure on the canton.
Upon arrival at CATEM, buses follow organized procedures, entering through designated terminals. Professional Migration Police then meticulously triage the new arrivals, sorting migrants who wish to continue their journey northwards. These individuals can efficiently purchase bus tickets and wait in assigned exit areas within CATEM.
To further assist migrants, CATEM now houses Western Union counters where those awaiting funds from relatives can securely receive remittances. Special accommodations have also been prepared for vulnerable groups needing temporary shelter before continuing their transit.
For buses traveling to the Peñas Blancas border crossing, officials will compile comprehensive passenger lists to streamline verification processes upon reaching northern border zones. This protocol aims to systematically manage migrant flows between borders.
The government has emphasized security remains a priority, with mandatory checks for all foreign nationals. While many migrants originate from Venezuela, sizeable numbers now also come from Ecuador, Colombia, Africa, and Asia.
The quest for opportunity has led thousands to risk the perilous Darién jungle crossing between Colombia and Panama. Costa Rica and Panama are striving to handle the complex scenario, but resources are thin as migrant figures continue rising.
Latest data shows around 3,000 migrants have been crossing daily since mid-September. The revised CATEM processes seek to provide orderly, humane transit for these desperate individuals pursuing dreams of a better life.