The Presidents of Costa Rica and Honduras have come to an agreement to reverse the recent visa requirements imposed on travelers from each other's countries. This resolution follows two weeks of negotiations to resolve the dispute that had disrupted Central American trade.
One of the crucial aspects of the deal is the allowance for trucks transporting goods between the two nations to cross the border freely.
Earlier this month, Costa Rica implemented mandatory visa requirements for Honduran travelers, citing security concerns as the primary reason. This action had led to reciprocal measures taken by Honduras.
Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves had earlier proposed a series of security measures in response to a surge in crime, including an alarming increase in murders. In September, he declared a state of emergency, citing the record numbers of migrants, mostly bound for the United States, crossing Central America by land. Costa Rican authorities have attributed the rise in violence to an increase in international criminal groups trafficking drugs to the United States.
Under the newly agreed-upon rules, travelers will no longer require visas when crossing the border. However, officials have stated that while cargo carriers will have unrestricted passage, individual travelers will still need to present a police certificate indicating their criminal or police records.
To be specific, Costa Ricans traveling to Honduras will need a certificate detailing their criminal records, while Hondurans traveling to Costa Rica will require a certificate specifying any police record.
Gerardo Torres, Honduras' Deputy Minister for Foreign Policy, has emphasized that the Honduran government will work towards ensuring that the new rules are efficient and convenient. Travelers will be able to obtain the necessary certificates online.