On Saturday, Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado declared a state of national emergency in response to an unprecedented surge of migrants attempting to reach the United States from Central America.
The president relayed the seriousness of the situation in a speech given on national television, stressing the need to do more to address the “deplorable and dangerous” conditions facing the migrants. The government of Costa Rica has pledged to provide humanitarian relief and resources for the growing number of people seeking to pass through the country on their way to the US border.
To bring the crisis under control, the government has implemented several measures that will be taken to address both the effectiveness of the government’s response to the migrant influx and the protection of those crossing through the nation’s borders. This includes an increase in security at the Costa Rican borders and more intelligence gathering to identify and investigate illegal trafficking operations. Additionally, the government has requested additional support from international agencies in order to provide urgent aid to the migrants.
Unfortunately, the situation appears to be escalating, with an estimated 6,000 migrants attempting to press through the country’s borders at any given time. This is in stark comparison to the roughly 600 specialized forces currently deployed to monitor the area. The challenge is further increased by the inhumane activities of smugglers facilitating migrants at a cost of several thousand dollars each.
President Alvarado’s plea for both international aid and increased security of the nation’s borders speaks to the urgency of the situation. With the illegal trafficking of human beings, some of whom are children, and severe overcrowding of already extremely strained resources, Costa Rica has found itself at a breaking point.