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Penas Blancas border being tested as thousands return to Costa Rica

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January 3rd, 2013 ( The efficiency of the immigration services, customs and border security at the Peñas Blancas border with Nicaragua is being tested as thousands of people who spent the holidays in the neighboring country return to Costa Rica.


The Regional Directorate of Immigration explained that many vacationers – mostly Nicaraguans – began returning to the country yesterday, and authorities expect the rush to continue until Sunday.


Yesterday, authorities at the border processed some 40,000 entries to the country.


According to authorities of Immigration, Customs and the Security Forces, this year the admission process was far more streamlined than in years past.


Immigration had 28 officials on the job.


Allan Obando, commissioner of the Border Police, said that the implementation of a new “sterile area” ended the many problems caused by people present who are not there for immigration processing, such as currency changers, hawkers, and family members.


Obando also said that additional security forces had been placed in areas along the border.


“In total, there are 100 personnel working [during the holiday season],” he said.


The border will remain with additional staff and security forces until January 13th, and immigration processing hours will continue from 6am to 12 midnight.


Long lines to catch a bus back to the capital were the only serious problems on the border yesterday.

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