Drug Trafficking in Costa Rica On the Rise

In only one year, seizures of cocaine have doubled, totaling over 15 tons with a U.S. market value of $2 billion.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Costa Rica, the Central American country noted for its economic development, its institutions, and social peace, is part of the land corridor where there is an increase in the operations of Mexican and Colombian cartels to transport drugs to the United States, the largest consumer of drugs in the world.

Onlinewsj.com reports that "The U.S. State Department said in an annual report on narcotics published recently that Costa Rica faces drug violence and a high level of crime due to "lack of resources and a complicated bureaucracy. "

As an example of the difficulties and disadvantages that Costa Rica has in fighting in a war that is not its own, the writer points to the poverty of resources in Peñas Blancas, one of the main stops on the border with Nicaragua.

"... The control point for the thousands of people crossing the border on foot each day is a rickety wooden shelter from the rain run by a single police officer sitting at a picnic table. "

More on this topic

Central America: Highest Homicide Rate in the World

April 2014

Drug trafficking and gangs are the main factors responsible for intentional murders in the most violent countries in the world: Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at the United Nations (UNODC), in 2012 Honduras recorded 90.4 killings per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Power of Central America's Drug Traffickers

August 2010

Do these countries have a real chance of stopping drug trafficking, in the context of economies like Guatemala's where the value of the drug economy is double the country's GDP?

In 2007, just 1% of all South American cocaine sold in the USA passed through the region. Now the figure is between 60% and 90%.

100.000 Gang Members in Central America

March 2010

Organized crime, especially the one related to drug trafficking, recruits its members in young, marginalized populations.

Antonio María Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), stated that “Central America is very vulnerable to organized crime, due to a series of factors which include underdevelopment, large flow of guns and a young population”.

Recovering Security

February 2010

Every new government generates expectations, and they are larger when the topics are most sensitive for the population.

For the new president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, her experience as Justice and Security minister increases hope in her government to revert growing insecurity in the country.

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