Active surveillance maintained by five police forces in the country has prevented the entry of 511 foreigners who sought to evade the closure of borders, reported the first vice president of the Republic, Epsy Campbell Barr, during a visit to the canton of Los Chiles.
Campbell moved to the northern zone this Monday along with the deputy ministers of the Interior and Police, Carlos Andrés Torres; and Health, Dennis Angulo, to inspect the border protection operation maintained since the previous Thursday by the Professional Migration Police, the Border Police, the National Air Surveillance Service, the National Coast Guard Service and the Public Force.
As of this Sunday night, a total of 511 rejections had been carried out against foreigners, most of them in unauthorized crossings and official posts in Peñas Blancas and Las Tablillas, as well as a smaller number on the southern border with 19 cases.
Vice President Campbell explained that upon detecting a foreigner entering the country illegally, officers have proceeded with the search, arrest and rejection of the nearest immigration control post.
“In defense of Costa Rican public health to prevent further contagion from the COVID-19 coronavirus, we proceeded the previous Thursday with the closure of borders to foreign people, in compliance with the decree issued by the President of the Republic,” said Campbell. He added that “rejection is the police action that prevents entry to the national territory to all those who violate an existing regulation or directive.”
The Vice Minister of the Interior and Police, Carlos Andrés Torres, explained that the police forces work permanently to detect possible cases of migrant smuggling. “The priority is human public health. Under a unified plan, the borders are being reinforced with police recourse from all bodies, “he explained.
He added that for Easter a greater traffic flow is expected and that actions are already being taken in a timely manner trying to contain and protect the border.
Vice President Campbell recalled that the presidential decree “only allows Costa Ricans and residents to enter the country, but even so all of these must remain in preventive isolation for 14 days.”
According to official data, with a cut-off on Sunday night, the Immigration officers have delivered a total of 3,867 health orders to people who must remain in mandatory isolation, most of them who entered through the Juan Santamaría International Airport.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dennis Angulo, explained that failure to comply with this measure is the cause of a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
“We make an emphatic call to all those to whom we have issued a health order to respect quarantine and not expose the rest of the population. They must remain at home as a preventive measure, to avoid further contagion from COVID-19, ”Angulo said.
Vice President Campbell -who coordinates the “Development Strip” program for the cantons of La Cruz, Los Chiles, Upala, Guatuso, San Carlos, Río Cuarto, Sarapiquí, Pococí and the Peñas Blancas district of San Ramón- has carried out a total of three visits to the northern area, in the last seven days.
This morning he will hold meetings with representatives of the orange and pineapple production sectors in Los Chiles; and in the afternoon he will go to San Carlos to hold a meeting with the Chamber of Cattlemen and the Chamber of Tourism.