Costa Rica: Exports, Insecurity and Drug Trafficking

Added to the factors already deteriorating competitiveness in the export sector are increased thefts of merchandise on the country's roads and infiltration of drug trafficking in exports.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The National Chamber of Cargo Carriers (Canatrac) reports that attacks on trucks on roads in the country have increased since 2012. They state    "... on average 12 assaults used to be committed per year, however the figure has risen to 20 in recent years'."

See: "Drugs in Export Cargo: And the Scanners?"

Francisco Quiros, director of Canatrac explained that previously shipments of electronics and appliances were those most likely to be attacked but now "... even pet food is sought after" by criminals.

Cesar Tapia, Executive Director of the Costa Rican Association of Security Companies (ACES), said in an article published by   "... 'We have not yet reached the level of awareness we need.  We need strategies ranging from legislative changes and in terms of operational matters we need to have better controls in ports, in container storage facilities.'"

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More on this topic

Nicaragua: Cargo Theft Alert

January 2020

A raíz del robo de un contenedor que transportaba productos lácteos, la cámara del sector hizo un llamado a todos los gremios vinculados al comercio internacional y local, para que refuercen sus medidas de precaución.

In a statement, the Nicaraguan Chamber of the Dairy Sector (CANISLAC) reported that on Friday, December 13, 2019, the first container of Quesillo was stolen in the history of Nicaragua.

Crisis and its Impact on the Region

October 2018

The complex economic and political situation that has affected Nicaragua since April continues to affect Central America, where exporters report losses of $45 million.

In the past months, cargo transport faced difficulties in moving goods along Nicaragua's highways due to demonstrators' blockades and insecurity, seriously affecting Central American companies.

Drugs in Export Cargo: And the Scanners?

September 2016

Another case of drugs found in cargo which came from Costa Rica highlights the imperative need to improve controls and implement the use of scanners at export ports.


How many more drugs have to be found in commercial export cargo before the authorities in Costa Rica put into operation the scanners which were donated by the Chinese government eight years ago?

Agroexporters Ask For Drug Detecting Scanners

August 2015

In Costa Rica scanners donated by China in 2008 remain unused, while exporting businesses are warning of the growing infiltration of drug trafficking in the sector.

Using scanners at the ports of Limon and reactivating inspection mechanisms that were used before to control cargo in containers, are part of the measures the agro-export sector is asking of the government in order to identify potential drugs hidden in shipments of merchandise.