Managua, Jul 4 (EFE) .- The opposition National Coalition reported this Saturday that the Government of Nicaragua is preventing the entry of more than 800 nationals into the country, who are stranded in Panama, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data from the Panamanian authorities indicate that some 1,180 Nicaraguans have been waiting for days to travel by land back to their country, after having lost the livelihoods they had in Panama due to the coronavirus pandemic, but cannot return due to immigration requirements. which include Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
The National Coalition, which brings together the main opposition groups in Nicaragua, criticized the government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, for conditioning the return of Nicaraguans.
“It constitutes a new violation of constitutional rights, and a serious violation of the human rights of Nicaraguan citizens, placing them, not only in an immigration limbo, but also in a particularly vulnerable situation in the context of the pandemic, exposing them dangerously to contracting said disease to more than 800 people stranded in Panama, ”said the Coalition, in a statement.
On June 30, Murillo announced that he would let a group of 50 Nicaraguans stranded into Panama, and stated that the Government of Managua has an “orderly and safe model (…) in these times of pandemic.”
“NEGLIGENT AND IRRESPONSIBLE”
Although Nicaragua has not made public the new requirements for a Nicaraguan to return to their country, some of these have been mentioned by the authorities, including the negative COVID-19 test, that the Government does not have to resort to expenses, and that the nationals have previously quarantined.
“Once again the dictatorship Ortega Murillo shows its negligent and irresponsible action with Nicaraguan citizens, by repeatedly denying the constitutional right of its citizens to freely enter and leave the country, with no more requirements than those established by law”, criticized the Alliance.
The National Coalition asked the international community to “document and follow up on this clear failure to comply with state obligations, which may culminate in an intra-regional crisis.”
He also recalled that there are groups of Nicaraguans stranded in El Salvador, Honduras, Grand Cayman, and in the Caribbean Sea, “who have been blocked from entering.”
Data from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) indicate that the Ortega Government has denied entry to more than 500 Nicaraguans, since the pandemic was decreed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to official figures, COVID-19 has infected 2,519 people and killed 83 in Nicaragua.
In recent days, the Nicaraguan medical union asked the government to reveal the “real data” of the pandemic in the country.
According to the independent Citizen Observatory COVID-19, a network of doctors and volunteers who register cases that apparently have been ignored by the authorities, in Nicaragua at least 7,402 people have become infected, while another 2,087 have died from pneumonia or other symptoms related to the pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the IACHR, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Organization of American States, and the office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Organization (UNHCR) , have expressed concern about how Nicaragua handles the pandemic.
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