Protesters demand Nicaragua open its borders to trapped migrants

A Costa Rican Red Cross member distributes food to migrants in an encampment of Africans in Penas Blancas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, on July 19. In a makeshift camp hundreds of tents shelter Haitians, Congolese, Senegalese and Ghanaian migrants waiting to continue their journey to the United States. Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images
A Costa Rican Red Cross member distributes food to migrants in an encampment of Africans in Penas Blancas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. In a makeshift camp hundreds of tents shelter Haitians, Congolese, Senegalese and Ghanaian migrants waiting to continue their journey to the United States. Photo Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images

MANAGUA — Human rights activists demanded on Friday that the government of Nicaragua allow undocumented migrants, currently stuck in Costa Rica, to cross the country freely.

Dozens of activists and members of minority political parties protested outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Managua to demand Nicaragua’s southern border be opened to thousands of migrants.

- payin the bills -

The protest happened peacefully, although a police presence could be seen, as people waved signs saying “Let them pass, they are not criminals,” “We are all Haiti” and “I have a migrant relative.”

One of the participants in the protest read out a letter in which she asked the government to “offer protection and help” and “to allow their safe transit, recognize the grave humanitarian crisis that this exodus has brought to thousands of people, and respond accordingly to this need.”

Since October 2015, Nicaragua has kept its border closed to thousands of Cuban, Haitian and African migrants who are seeking to reach the United States.

Thousands of Cuban migrants have benefited from an aerial bridge to Costa Rica and Panama in 2016, allowing them to continue their journey through Mexico.

- paying the bills -

However, at least 10 Haitian and African migrants have drowned in Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest lake, as they tried to cross it after being abandoned by people traffickers.

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