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International News: Nicaraguans fleeing their country pose a challenge for Costa Rica’s asylum system

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Posted: Monday, September 5, 2022. 2:42 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The current crackdown by the administration of President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua has caused many to flee the country, Latin Post reports.

The Ortega government has brought down a heavy hand on the opposition, the church, and independent media.

Many Nicaraguans are now seeking asylum in Costa Rica.

The wave of Nicaraguan migrants has overwhelmed Costa Rica’s asylum system, with the wait time to formalize asylum cases being as long as 9 years. Many of these asylum seekers are fleeing due to political repression and are being forced into exile.

Presently, there is no opposition official in any post in government in Nicaragua.

A report by the Associated Press noted that the harsh political policies by Nicaragua have overwhelmed Costa Rica’s asylum system.

The number of asylum requests has exploded, with asylum seekers now accounting for 4% of Costa Rica’s population of 5 million citizens.

Costa Rican officials have confirmed that they now have over 200,000 pending applications and another 50,000 people waiting for their appointment to make a formal application. Nine out of 10 applicants are Nicaraguan.

 

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