Migrant rights will be defended

When and if Cuban migrants leave Costa Rica, they will be under the eye of several protectors of human rights.

The Defensoría de los Habitantes said Tuesday that the Consejo Centroamericano de Procuradores de Derechos Humanos will supervise the travel. The Defensoría also said that the number of Cuban migrants now in the country total 7,800. That is more than has been reported.

The Defensoría said that the human rights organization in each country would supervise the passage so that the migrants enjoy a secure trip free of rights violations. Each of the rights organizations, as well as the Defensoría are generally referred to as an ombudsman, an arbiter of citizen complaints.

The Defensoría said that plans for this supervision were laid out when representatives of the various countries met Dec. 28.The tentative plan is for the Cuban migrants to fly to El Salvador and then go by bus to the northern Mexican border where they will seek admission to the United States. Costa Rica plans to first move those with children and those who have been in the country the longest, officials said.

The airlift is needed because Nicaragua has closed its borders to the migrants. The bulk of the Cubans have been living in public shelters since the middle of November when they arrived overland from Ecuador.

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