​Costa Rican Authorities Seize Guns Possibly Linked to Drug Gang Killings

​Costa Rican Authorities Seize Guns Possibly Linked to Drug Gang Killings

By Dialogo
May 27, 2015




Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department (OIJ) has seized six kilograms of cocaine and multiple firearms that police investigators believe are linked to several recent killings. OIJ agents also confiscated silencers and ammunition during raids on a house and an apartment in the capital city of San José in which agents arrested one suspect.

Agents from the Homicide and Criminal Investigations Section of the OIJ conducted both raids April 9 in Cañada Sur, San Sebastián, as part of the investigation into several recent killings in the southern part of the capital.

“These criminal groups have places to warehouse their weapons. This is another one of the houses that play that role,” Geovanny Rodríguez, Chief of Homicides, said to reporters. That house, raided by OIJ agents, belonged to a 43-year-old woman who was arrested by police; investigators suspect she was in charge of storing the weapons and ammunition.

Meanwhile, in the nearby apartment, OIJ agents discovered four kilos of cocaine, two AK-47 assault rifles, two pistols, and two submachine guns – one Uzi and a Scorpion – as well as silencers and ammunition.

The operation was connected to recent killings in the southern and western regions of the capital, “where criminal groups have been fighting for territory to secure locations to sell drugs,” Rodríguez said. Forensic investigators are analyzing the firearms to determine if they are linked with the killings as well as a series of attempted homicides in the capital.

Law enforcement authorities cooperate


Police have made considerable progress in investigation of those crimes.

The OIJ is working with the Public Ministry and the Public Force to solve each of the cases, said Attorney General Jorge Chavarría. In recent months, law enforcement officers have raided 23 homes and conducted 70 intelligence-gathering operations.

“The interagency coordination operates very well, because those in charge in the various agencies have worked together and known each other,” said Carlos G. Murillo Zamora, a professor at the University of Costa Rica.

Fighting between criminal gangs is responsible for much of the violence. In 2000, about 20 percent of the violent crimes in Costa Rica were related to organized crime. Currently, about 40 percent of the violence is driven by gangs and organized crime groups which sell drugs, steal cars, and engage in human trafficking.

These conflicts have led to an uptick in killings. There were 411 killings in Costa Rica in 2013 and 471 homicides in 2014. In January and February, authorities recorded 86 killings, compared to 70 during the first two months of 2014.





Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department (OIJ) has seized six kilograms of cocaine and multiple firearms that police investigators believe are linked to several recent killings. OIJ agents also confiscated silencers and ammunition during raids on a house and an apartment in the capital city of San José in which agents arrested one suspect.

Agents from the Homicide and Criminal Investigations Section of the OIJ conducted both raids April 9 in Cañada Sur, San Sebastián, as part of the investigation into several recent killings in the southern part of the capital.

“These criminal groups have places to warehouse their weapons. This is another one of the houses that play that role,” Geovanny Rodríguez, Chief of Homicides, said to reporters. That house, raided by OIJ agents, belonged to a 43-year-old woman who was arrested by police; investigators suspect she was in charge of storing the weapons and ammunition.

Meanwhile, in the nearby apartment, OIJ agents discovered four kilos of cocaine, two AK-47 assault rifles, two pistols, and two submachine guns – one Uzi and a Scorpion – as well as silencers and ammunition.

The operation was connected to recent killings in the southern and western regions of the capital, “where criminal groups have been fighting for territory to secure locations to sell drugs,” Rodríguez said. Forensic investigators are analyzing the firearms to determine if they are linked with the killings as well as a series of attempted homicides in the capital.

Law enforcement authorities cooperate


Police have made considerable progress in investigation of those crimes.

The OIJ is working with the Public Ministry and the Public Force to solve each of the cases, said Attorney General Jorge Chavarría. In recent months, law enforcement officers have raided 23 homes and conducted 70 intelligence-gathering operations.

“The interagency coordination operates very well, because those in charge in the various agencies have worked together and known each other,” said Carlos G. Murillo Zamora, a professor at the University of Costa Rica.

Fighting between criminal gangs is responsible for much of the violence. In 2000, about 20 percent of the violent crimes in Costa Rica were related to organized crime. Currently, about 40 percent of the violence is driven by gangs and organized crime groups which sell drugs, steal cars, and engage in human trafficking.

These conflicts have led to an uptick in killings. There were 411 killings in Costa Rica in 2013 and 471 homicides in 2014. In January and February, authorities recorded 86 killings, compared to 70 during the first two months of 2014.


Share