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Monday, May 20, 2024

UN Urges Costa Rica to End Migrant Smuggling Networks After Deadly Crash

The United Nations (UN) urged Costa Rican authorities to put an end to migrant smuggling networks, due to the unfortunate situation that occurred with an Ecuadorian woman and a girl who died when the vehicle that was transporting them in an irregular manner fell into a river.

Allegra Baiocchi, UN Resident Coordinator in Costa Rica, regretted the situation that occurred and also stressed the importance of putting an end to illegal trafficking networks.

“What happened is a reminder of the risks faced by migrants and refugees in search of a new life, and of the importance of ending the illegal smuggling networks that victimize these people,” Baiocchi said in a press release.

The UN emphasized that they will accompany Costa Rica in this process to “address the problem and strengthen the controlled transit model which, according to Costa Rica’s experience, proves to be an adequate strategy to reduce the risks faced by people in transit.”

The Accident

Costa Rican authorities confirmed on Wednesday the death of Jessica Uvidia, 33, and her 6-year-old daughter after the vehicle that was transporting them irregularly, along with 6 other Ecuadorians, fell into the Medio Queso river.

Specialized diving teams rescued the two bodies that were inside the vehicle at the bottom of the river. The driver and 6 other Ecuadorian migrants, including 4 minors, managed to get out of the vehicle by their own means and did not need to be transferred to a medical center.

The UN reported that a team of UN agencies went to Los Chiles, on the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan border, to provide psychosocial care, food, shelter, hygiene supplies, and clothing to the survivors.

The victims of the incident were in the country to continue their journey to the United States. They arrived at the southern border of the country and then, thanks to the official controlled transit program, were taken from there to Los Chiles.

The accident occurred on the Medio Queso river, which is part of a route in poor condition used by a group known as ‘Los Talibanes’ that is dedicated to irregularly transporting migrants to blind spots along the border with Nicaragua in old vehicles in precarious mechanical and safety conditions.

Unfortunately, some migrants use these illegal transports, which in many cases end up costing them their lives.

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