The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 110,000 Nicaraguans have had to flee. The United States and Costa Rica are presented as its main destinations.
For the North American case, there were 50,722 entry attempts, which corresponds to an increase of 1500% compared to the 2020 data. The Costa Rican authorities, for their part, added more than 39,000 refugee requests.
The case of Costa Rica generates alarm in the region because the country’s resources are not so extensive. This is included in a monitoring on the regional situation published this week by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
The IACHR asked for more international solidarity and to comply with the recommendations made previously in the report “Forced Migration of Nicaraguans to Costa Rica.” It highlights protection actions that the country had but encouraged to seek more cooperation to face the growing demand for help.
Two years after that evaluation, the Commission again requested state assistance
“The IACHR urges the States to adopt or strengthen regional cooperation and shared responsibility mechanisms that allow addressing displacement factors, expanding and improving regular migration channels, guaranteeing access to territories and processes to provide international protection, implement social inclusion actions without discrimination, in favor of these people”, he pointed out.
Even fleeing Nicaragua becomes complicated
The IACHR report calls for the Sandinista regime of Daniel Ortega to end the repression. According to the analysis, many of the people fleeing Nicaragua have faced direct threats of arrest by agents of the National Police or government supporters. In other cases, many of them indicated living in a climate of fear and anxiety due to the constant presence of agents of the National Police in their homes, acts of monitoring and surveillance, and even the refusal to move to other departments.
The profiles of the exiles include: human rights defenders and journalists; students who participated in the mobilizations of April 2018; legal representatives of persons deprived of liberty; female health workers opposed to government policies; people released under the Amnesty law in 2019; relatives of people detained or murdered in the context of the crisis; and, in general, political and social movement leaders who were threatened by the continuation of arbitrary detentions in the country.
On the other hand, those who are identified as opponents who seek to leave the country. In some cases, they would be subjected to questioning at the airport by agents of the National Police, as well as checks of personal documents, computers and cell phones.
According to the testimonies received, the purpose of said actions would be to prevent people from exposing the human rights situation internationally and would increase the mobility of people through irregular crossing points or “blind spots”.