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R4V Response for Venezuelans – Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela: Central America and Mexico Situation Report – May 2020

Situation Report
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  • International borders in Panama and Costa Rica remained closed. Costa Rica has reinforced security on the border with drones, helicopters and additional police officers. In Mexico, cases under MPP program, including Venezuelan population, whose hearings were scheduled in May, are now scheduled at the end of June and early July at the port of entry.

  • The Mexican government suspended the asylum procedures sine die. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extended the suspension of several activities including the reception of naturalization processes. Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to legally recognize same-sex marriage which strengthens the protection system for LGBTI refugees by recognizing the validity of civil unions within the different procedures (i.e. family reunification, extension of the status of refuge to the spouses). A workshop on the Cartagena Declaration was carried out with Government officials for the incorporation of the Cartagena definition to provide greater protection, particularly for those populations arriving from Venezuela. In Panama, the moratorium on loan payments was extended until December, including mortgages, personal loans, to small and medium-sized companies, and the payment of public services was suspended for four months.

  • In Mexico, delays continue for Venezuelan population seeking to obtain migration related documentation including permanent residency. In Costa Rica, technical difficulties remained in facilitating access of migrants and refugees to Bono Proteger (employment/under employment benefit program). In Panama, ONPAR and the National Immigration Service extended the validity of expired ID cards until June 15. Gradually, and taking biosecurity measures, some government offices such as ONPAR are being reactivated.