According to the June 29 report of the Nicaraguan Nunca Más Human Rights Collective Nicaragua: Between repression and citizen resistance, the human rights situation of the Nicaraguan population 2021-2022, “political persecution; harassment; headquarters; state violence; and arbitrary imprisonment of journalists, human rights defenders, civil society activists, members of non-profit organizations and associations, opponents and members of political parties” are the main causes of the wave of Nicaraguan refugees.
In an oral update in mid-June to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stressed that fundamental guarantees in the nation from Central America have continued to deteriorate over the past three months, due to the socio-political, economic, and human rights crisis, and that the number of Nicaraguans leaving the country is increasing at a faster pace than before. “Over the past eight months, the number of Nicaraguan refugees and asylum seekers in Costa Rica has doubled to 150,000, or 3% of Costa Rica’s population,” Bachelet said.
The Nunca Más Collective has indicated that there is “an incalculable under-declaration of people who, through ignorance or lack of information, do not benefit from legal assistance; they are even victims of scams by unscrupulous people who charge them excessive sums to obtain a refugee nomination, who never reach the immigration authorities and therefore do not initiate the refugee status process.
“Between January 1 and June 30, 2022, more than 40,000 people sought refuge in Costa Rica, exponentially increasing the numbers that have been historically processed,” said Braulio Abarca, lawyer for the Nunca Más collective. Dialogo. “In this same period of 2022, we have documented […] serious violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Nicaraguan population, mainly the rights to freedom of expression, mobility and movement; as well as the right to physical and psychological integrity.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Arnoldo André Tinoco appeared before the International Relations Committee of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly on June 16 and said that the migration situation could worsen due to the deterioration of the socio-political and economic situation. in Nicaragua.
Manuel Orozco, director of the Migration, Remittances and Development program of the American think tank Inter-American Dialogue, which has investigated Nicaraguan migration processes, points out that this exodus is repeated for political reasons.
“In the 1980s, during the so-called Sandinista Revolution, many Nicaraguans left to escape repression, military service and a crumbling economy. Reasons for leaving differ significantly between the two generations,” Orozco said. Dialogo. “Almost half of those who left after the socio-political crisis of 2018 did so for reasons of insecurity and the political situation. This number is much higher than in other countries in the Central American region that go through situations of violence associated with gangs or organized crime.
On March 31, 2022, the UN Human Rights Council appointed a panel of independent experts to investigate human rights abuses in Nicaragua, but the regime has still not allowed them entry. . not to end up in almost inexplicable isolation,” Bachelet said.
“The High Commissioner has once again offered his support to Nicaragua in overcoming the long-lasting crisis situation,” said Alberto Brunori, representative of the Central America Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Rights (OHCHR). ), told the Nicaraguan magazine Confidential. “Offers like this should be taken without thinking to start building a society that is much more respectful of human rights and to try to help the Nicaraguan state, civil society, etc., to overcome the crisis. Breaking these resolutions leads nowhere.