More than 1,000 migrants ‘violently’ cross to Costa Rica from Panama

April 13, 2016 | By | Reply More

Apr 13, – The incident risked reviving a recent crisis in which thousands of Cubans determined to make it to the United States became stranded in Costa Rica because their passage north through Central America was blocked.

More than 1,000 migrants 'violently' cross to Costa Rica from PanamMore than 1,000 migrants, most of them Cubans, “violently” crossed the border from Panama into Costa Rica on Wednesday, officials said.

Television images showed migrants clashing with officials trying to stop them in Costa Rica’s border town of Paso Canoas. Several car windows were broken in the scuffles.

Costa Rican officials said some Africans were among those entering and they vowed to deport back to Panama any undocumented migrants. They blamed the United States for “promoting” the flow of Cubans.

“Today more than a thousand undocumented migrants violently and with force entered Costa Rica, which represents an affront to the Costa Rican people,” the presidency said in a statement.

It stressed that the country was unable to cope with such an influx of migrants and that it had just cleared out 8,000 Cubans who had been blocked in the country when its northern neighbor Nicaragua closed its border to them five months ago.

Those stranded Cubans had been put on special flights skipping over Nicaragua, to either El Salvador or Mexico, with most of them paying their own way.

Costa Rica said it was reinforcing security on its border with Panama to prevent more crossings.

The statement from the presidency denounced US policy dating back to the Cold War that gives easy entry to Cubans and puts them on a fast-track to residency.

It said the policy promotes such irregular migratory flows by providing “a perverse incitement” for Cubans to try to get to the United States no matter the obstacle.

The US approach, it said, “fosters conditions for human trafficking.”

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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