AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Last group of Cuban migrants leave today from Costa Rica

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 refugees   area crisis   slavery  

San Jose (Agenzia Fides) - The last group of 80 Cubans, of the thousands of people who had been detained in Costa Rica since last November, leaves today for Mexico to resume their migration to the United States, as informs the National emergency Commission (CNE) of Costa Rica in the note sent to Fides. The group will leave by plane and head towards Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and from there they will be transported to the border with the United States, where they hope to obtain citizenship as provided for by the Cuban Adjustment Act.
The migration crisis began last November 15, when Nicaragua closed the border to Cubans (see Fides 03/12/2015; 28/12/2015). Costa Rica granted 7,802 temporary visas to Cuban migrants who had been blocked in its territory. On December 18, 2015 it decided not to grant visas because they could not provide humanitarian assistance. After weeks of negotiations, Costa Rica reached an agreement, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, to allow the transit of Cubans from these countries for their journey to the US. The Bishops of the Secretariado Episcopal de América Central defined this situation "a humanitarian issue", urging therefore a "humanitarian solution" by the Prime Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Central America (see Fides 25/11/2015).
According to data from the Department of Immigration of Costa Rica, 4,346 out of 7,802 Cuban migrants who received a transit visa left the country. The government believes that those who did not receive a visa tried to reach the United States with the help of smugglers. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 15/03/2016)