Nicaragua + 6 more

UNHCR Nicaragua Situation Fact Sheet (1 – 30 November 2019)


The asylum system remains suspended in Nicaragua. Due to controls carried out by the national police and paramilitary groups, insecurity has increased when meetings of more than three people are held in public areas (universities, churches, malls, markets, parks). Government supporters are targeting priests and parishioners of the Catholic Church with escalating violence. Freedom from physical attacks and freedom of movement are in question in the streets, especially for university students, and armed robberies carried out by men on motorcycles and vans without license plates continue to increase, all of which a general environment of threat and insecurity exists. Entrepreneurs and private sector are also beginning to be singled out through political pressure.

Just below 4.000 new asylum applications from Nicaraguan nationals were registered in the month of November, maintaining the trend of near or above that same number of asylum seekers leaving Nicaragua each month since June. There is now a total of 92.745 Nicaraguan asylum seekers worldwide, with 67.215 in Costa Rica and around 7.800 in Panama.

In Costa Rica, during the month of November, 460 Nicaraguans were recognized as refugees, 432 rejected, and 21 determined to have manifestly unfounded claims. This 50% approval rate for first instance recognition of Nicaraguans is an unprecedented monthly high.

Key Figures

92.745 asylum seekers from Nicaragua btw. Apr-2018 to Nov-2019, of which:

  • 67.215 asylum applications registered in North and Central America, mainly in Costa Rica (52.731), Panama (7.838) and Mexico (3.383)
  • 8.010 asylum applications registered in Europe, mainly in Spain (6.760)
  • Approx. 17.550 persons waiting to formalize their claims in Costa Rica

825 Refugees, asylum-seekers and others of concern in Nicaragua by Jun-19, based on data provided by CEPAD (UNHCR’s implementing partner).