Nicaraguans who have run out of livelihoods in Panama due to the COVID-19 crisis intend to return to their country next week in a caravan of between “15 or 20” buses, a journey that must be authorized by Costa Rica given the closure of the borders due to the pandemic.
Nicaraguan Ricardo Mantilla affirmed this Friday in an interview with local television that they have “made the respective missives” that they will deliver to the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Health (Minsa), the National Border Service (Senafront) and the National Police of Panama ” so as not to have a delay “in the trip, which they intend to undertake next Wednesday night.
“Much of the Nicaraguan community in Panama has lost 95% of their jobs. We have to pay rents and we have no social benefits either,” argued Mantilla.
Without specifying a number of the people involved in the trip, Mantilla said that “great caravan” will consist of “15 or 20” bus, which will have “all preventive measures” sanitary.
“We ask the Panamanian government that we want to leave, nobody is going to stay. We will leave because we are suffering from health, housing and food,” he added.
A group of 93 Nicaraguans tried to leave on Thursday in buses that would leave the Albrook terminal, in the Panamanian capital, but the authorities prevented it because they did not have the necessary documents, such as a pass to carry out the trip, according to official information. .
Two weeks ago, a hundred Nicaraguans who had been stranded in Panama, where they had arrived three months earlier to work in the sugar harvest, left for their country thanks to an agreement between Panama and Costa Rica, which gave way.
The closure of the borders due to the pandemic has also left more than 2,500 illegal migrants stranded in Panama traveling to the north of the continent, some of whom have managed to evade Panamanian controls and have reached the border with Costa Rica.
That was the case of about twenty Haitians who are now on the Costa Rican side of the border after they fled Tuesday from a Panamanian shelter but the Ethical authorities do not allow them to advance nor do the Panamanians return.