September 6th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) With more than 12,000 refugees already living in the country, Costa Rica receives between 90 and 100 requests from asylum seekers each month, officials told the EFE news agency yesterday. Most asylum seekers are from Colombia, Venezuela, and Central America.
A total of 85 of those applications have been accepted so far this year, Director of Immigration Kathya Rodriguez told EFE.
As in years past, the majority of requests are from Colombians, though this year has been an increase in asylum seekers from Venezuela and other Central American countries such as Honduras and El Salvador.
Rodriguez said that in the case of Venezuelans, most seek asylum for political reasons, while those from Central America are often attempting to escape violence.
Rodriguez said that recent reforms have allowed immigration officials to speed the processing of asylum requests, which are now responded to in a maximum of 90 days. Officials are also taking measures to prevent those associated with organized crime from exploiting the system.