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The Presidents of Panama and Costa Rica Have a Pow Wow at the Panamonte

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This topic is closely related to another topic here on CL, but we are opting to keep them separate. Please refer to http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/11730-illegal-migration-at-the-panama-colombia-border for related information.

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Presidents of Costa Rica and Panama meet for trade, tourism and security

Wed, 02/20/2019 - 13:59

Diseño sin título (14).jpg

he presidents of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, began a meeting on Wednesday to discuss issues on the bilateral agenda, including the presence of hundreds of irregular migrants, mostly Cubans, who seek to reach United States.

Varela said when he received Alvarado that during the meeting, which will last until the afternoon, they will talk about "security, migratory flows, fight against organized crime, citizen security, tourism and cooperation."

The Costa Rican Presidential House reported on Tuesday that the meeting in Boquete, Chiriquí, was agreed last January during a meeting between the two presidents on the occasion of Alvarado's visit to Panama for the World Youth Day.

"The topics that will be covered are security, tourism and trade, we have a strong, friendly, close and very productive relationship and we will also deal with other issues of the regional reality and how we can address them together," Alvarado said at the press conference that followed to the weekly Governing Council.

In statements to the media Juan Carlos Varela said: "It will be a very interesting day where we will address specific issues, security in the morning, migratory flow, fight against organized crime, citizen security and in the afternoon we will be sharing specific issues, commerce, tourism and what is the cooperation between both countries ".

The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado said: "We are united by ties of friendship, cooperation and progress. We are a compromised delegation because there are many issues that we will address, issues of security, trade, progress, tourism. We are very motivated to be here, you know that my son was born here in Panama, that is something that always will be close to my heart "

In the matter of migratory issues "Panama and Costa Rica are an example through the controlled operation.We can tell the world today that no extra-continental or regional migrant is abused by any trafficking group when it touches Panamanian or Costa Rican soil. This is a model of cooperation that has been presented to the world: the migratory transits made with order ", said Varela when installing the bilateral meeting.

In that sense, Alvarado stressed that the migratory issues have been "working very well" between the governments of Panama and Costa Rica, and in the meeting on Wednesday the idea is to "deepen that collaboration, for the security" of both countries.

This second bi-national meeting in Boquete between the governments of Varela and Alvarado takes place while Panama manages the passage of more than 700 irregular migrants, 57% Cubans and the rest of countries such as Haiti, Cameroon, Ghana, Eritrea, Ethiopia. They arrived by foot in the Central American country and seek to cross the border of Costa Rica to continue heading north of the American continent.

It is "a last wave of immigration that occurred on the weekend" of February 9 and 10, said on 13 February the Minister of Public Security of Panama to Efe, Jonattan Del Rosario, who then stressed that "neither it is the worst migrant crisis "that the country has faced.

Del Rosario referred to the thousands of Cubans, Haitians and Africans in transit to the United States were stranded between the end of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 in Panama and Costa Rica, after Nicaragua closed its border, and were evacuated through a special operation that had the support of Mexico.

A part of the more than 700 migrants who arrived between the 9 and 10 of February last to Panama through the border with Colombia have been transferred to the province of Chiriqui, bordering Costa Rica, according to official data.

According to the official Costa Rican information, Varela and Alvarado will also analyze on Wednesday the topics of the modernization of the customs posts, the joint tourist promotion, the commercial relations, initiatives for the Amistad National Park, the advance of the binational bridge over the river Sixaola and the Joint Cooperation Commission.

The Costa Rican delegation that accompanies Alvarado is made up of Foreign Minister Manuel Ventura and Security Ministers, Michael Soto; of Public Works and Transportation, Rodolfo Méndez; of Agriculture, Renato Alvarado; of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez, and of Turismo Mariamalia Revelo.

Also present are the directors of the Public Force, Daniel Calderón; of the Border Police, Allan Obando; and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security, Eduardo Trejos.

Varela is accompanied on this occasion by a group of ministers and the country's vice president and foreign minister, Isabel De Saint Malo, according to the information available.

At a meeting last January, Presidents Alvarado and Varela discussed bilateral issues, but also referred to the role of the Lima Group in seeking a way out of the political crisis in Venezuela.

With information of EFE



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to The Presidents of Panama and Costa Rica Have a Pow Wow at the Panamonte

More than a minor disruption to traffic flow. They closed the Panamonte bridge at 6:30 AM and it was still closed when I went by at 12:30. Coming back into Boquete about 8:30, I was directed to the shoulder by a very large cavalcade of SUV's with flashing lights, police cars, police motorcycles, and even an ambulance.

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Panama and Costa Rica agree on plan to face irregular flow of immigrants

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 10:09


Marcelino Rosario and Raquel Sánchez

The governments of Panama and Costa Rica reaffirmed on Wednesday their commitment to address the growing flow of irregular immigrants who make their way to the United States, a task that they plan to carry out with the maximum order to guarantee its transit.

In recent weeks the drama of immigration was portrayed by the evident number of people trying to enter Panama through the Darién jungle, bordering Colombia, mostly of Cuban and Haitian nationalities, a situation that provoked a warning between the authorities.

Given this, the leaders of both nations agreed to reinforce the bilateral Controlled Flow program, in order to guarantee humanitarian attention to the migrant without neglecting the issues inherent in the fight against the trafficking of human beings.

After the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and the Costa Rican, Carlos Alvarado, signed a joint statement of the Second Binational Meeting on security, migration, trade, tourism and cooperation, they referred to the action they take on the social issue.

"The citizens -of the region and extraterritorial- have to comply with the laws and do the transit in an orderly, controlled and established manner", declared Varela regarding the migration cooperation program.

He said that before these mixed flows and movements of people of various nationalities, both States apply sanitary and security controls, in addition to indicating the responsibility they must have when being directed by a Government, and that they are not part of a net of human trafficking.

In recent days Panama has had to manage the passage of more than 700 irregular migrants, 57% Cubans and the rest of countries such as Haiti, Cameroon, Ghana, Eritrea and Ethiopia, who arrived on foot in the Central American country and seek to pass through the border of Costa Rica to continue heading north of the American continent.

Varela said that the migrants they receive are taken to a small shelter in the coastal town of Puerto Obaldía or Yaviza in the province of Darién, on the border with Colombia; then they are taken to Costa Rica in an orderly manner previously registered with their identification and fingerprints.

The head of state added that both nations maintain controls so as not to expose migrant people to traffickers and the local population in situations that damage the image of the country and the economy.

Meanwhile, Alvarado stressed that the implemented model of flow allows a standard of safe, orderly and registered migration, which has eliminated the phenomenon of "coyotaje" or illegal trafficking of people.

"We believe in the approach of orderly migrations with a focus on human rights, given that in the population that transits there are minors and pregnant women", he exclaimed.

The massive arrival of Cubans in 2015 and the closure of borders that Nicaragua ordered led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Panama and Costa Rica.

In the working session held in the town of Boquete, in the western province of Chiriquí, the presidents talked about the democratic exit and the dialogue that is needed in the crisis that Venezuela is going through.

These nations make up the so-called Lima Group, which does not recognize Maduro's second term and calls for democratic and credible elections in Venezuela.

Another issue addressed by both leaders was the fight against drug trafficking due to the increase in drug production in neighboring countries, and the training of security forces to intensify their presence in the Pacific sector, route used by criminal networks in the transfer of drugs.

In addition, the political dialogue was conducive to deepen the joint tourism promotion as a multi-destination, to attract more visitors from the United States, Europe and Asia, and thus promote connectivity.

The leaders also discussed the modernization of customs posts, commercial relations, initiatives for the La Amistad National Park, the advance of the binational bridge over the Sixaola River and the Joint Cooperation Commission.



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