January 20, 2021

Panama Police Hold Nicaraguans For Blocking Border With Costa Rica

The Panama Border Police detained and sent before a justice of the peace this Monday about thirty Nicaraguans who blocked the border with Costa Rica in protest because they cannot continue their journey to Nicaragua.

This group of foreigners has been in Paso Canoas, the Panamanian side of the border with Costa Rica, since last week, after that country suspended a coordinated transit process on Saturday as part of the border closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. , because Nicaragua temporarily prevented its citizens from entering.

Nicaraguans have started to return to their country after they were left without livelihoods in Panama due to the pandemic, which keeps the Panamanian economy semi-paralyzed, and by the middle of this week a caravan of between 15 and 20 had been announced to leave. buses to Nicaragua.

“What we want is to return to our homes, it is the only thing that we want because we are already in despair, here we have nothing and we have no way of surviving in this country,” Nicaraguan-based Glenda López told the Panamanian TVN network in Paso Canoas. .

The deputy commissioner of the National Border Service (Senafront), Jorge Govea, explained for his part that the Nicaraguans were detained and brought before a justice of the peace for the “administrative offenses” they committed by blocking an international highway and putting cargo transit at risk. .

It was an “orderly” and uneventful clearing procedure, Govea told local television.

For his part, the Vice Minister of Public Security of Costa Rica, Eduardo Solano, explained that during this Monday some 46 Nicaraguans arrived at the border to enter Costa Rican soil, but they were denied passage.

“Today, of their own free will, they are trying to force their way into Costa Rican territory, and we are here deploying the public force to prevent entry (…) Until Nicaragua guarantees and gives us the green light for the flow and direct entry into Nicaraguan territory, these people will not be able to enter Costa Rica and they must wait in Panama, “said Solano.

About 120 Nicaraguans from Panama arrived last Friday night at the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, but the Nicaraguan authorities prevented them from entering for about 18 hours without knowing the cause.

In mid-June more than a hundred Nicaraguans who had been stranded in Panama, where they went to work temporarily in the sugar harvest, traveled to their country crossing Costa Rica in a coordinated step that did not record incidents.

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.

Panama is experiencing its worst moment of the pandemic: in the last week it has broken records of more than 1,000 new cases per day, to accumulate up to this Monday 32,785 confirmed infections and 620 deaths. Mobility is severely restricted in the Panamanian capital and a neighboring province due to the high incidence of the disease.


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