Costa Rica: Meeting Place For Drug Traffickers

By Dialogo
December 16, 2009

Costa Rica has become a meeting place where Colombian and Mexican drug cartels do business in tons of cocaine, the principal destination of which is the United States market, according to the director of the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), Jorge Rojas. “Costa Rica has become a meeting place for Mexican and Colombian cartels. That is to say, Guatemalans no longer play an intermediary role,” Rojas told the daily La Nación, which published his statements. According to an article in the Costa Rican daily, based on reports by the Drug Control Police (PCD), since 2005 a total of sixty-one Mexican citizens have been apprehended for ties to drug-trafficking activities. During the same period, the authorities have seized 16.3 tons of cocaine belonging to Mexican criminal organizations, according to the PCD, which estimates that 80 % of the drugs that pass through Costa Rica are controlled by cartels from that country. “We should remember that we are talking about large criminal enterprises (the Mexican cartels), with structures that are highly efficient at administering resources,” the director of the Costa Rican Drug Institute, Mauricio Boraschi, declared to La Nación. The Costa Rican authorities fear that the cartels will be able to make alliances with individuals of few economic resources who live far from the cities, for the purpose of acquiring freedom of action in rural areas. Recently, a mysterious woman gave large sums of money to poor families living near the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua, and the authorities found traces of cocaine on the bills.