Costa Rica and Panama Agree on Joint Actions against Organized Crime

By Dialogo
February 03, 2011

Costa Rica and Panama have agreed to carry out joint actions in the fight against organized crime and common criminality in the border area, both in the air and on land, the Costa Rican Security Ministry announced.

The bilateral accord was reached during a meeting between the Costa Rican security minister, José María Tijerino, and his Panamanian colleague, José Raúl Mulino, on Panamanian soil on the afternoon of 28 January, a press release from the Costa Rican government indicated.

“In this way, bilateral actions will be carried out that will make it possible to deepen the exchange of information and cooperation on matters affecting the security and defense of both nations,” the statement indicated.

In the statement, Tijerino said that the two countries established guidelines for combating drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, arms trafficking, human trafficking, and immigrant smuggling, among other threats they face.

“It was a brief meeting, but an intense one that led to concrete results, since the issues that are taxing the resources of both governments were identified and translated into actions that will be put into practice as soon as possible,” Tijerino added.

During the meeting, the ministers agreed to request that their governments hold the First Binational Border Meeting, planned for Panama City, within two months at the latest.

The border area between Costa Rica and Panama is occasionally used by human traffickers to bring across undocumented immigrants, who in many cases are seeking to reach U.S. territory.