Latin America and Caribbean

Influx Of Nicaraguan Refugees Flee To Costa Rica, UN Urges Support

The UN is calling for nations to support Costa Rica as it helps asylum seekers from Nicaragua.

Influx Of Nicaraguan Refugees Flee To Costa Rica, UN Urges Support
Voice of America

Costa Rica is struggling to keep up with an influx of refugees and asylum seekers from Nicaragua and the UN is calling on other countries to help.

Thousands of Nicaraguans are fleeing amid violence in their country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says Costa Rica has seen an average of 200 asylum applications a day.

Turmoil in Nicaragua started in April after President Daniel Ortega announced controversial reforms to the country's social security system. The plan was eventually reversed, but protesters have called for Ortega — whose government removed the two term presidential limit — to step down.

At least 300 people have died since the protests started according to the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights. 

The UN Refugee Agency is calling on all nations to provide support to Costa Rica and other countries hosting Nicaraguan refugees "in the spirit of solidarity and responsibility-sharing."

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence previously condemned the "human rights abuses committed by the Ortega regime in response to protests." He said democracy can only be restored to the country through "Free, fair and transparent elections."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.