Costa Rica sends 24 tons of narcotics to U.S. to be destroyed
By Dialogo August 01, 2013
SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – The United States destroyed nearly 24 tons of cocaine and heroin that Costa Rica officials needed help eradicating, according to Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ).
The OIJ and Costa Rican authorities generally destroy narcotics domestically, but the amount of narcotics was so large they feared getting rid of it using their resources would damage the environment.
The OIJ didn’t make the announcement until the 23 tons and 780 kilograms it sent to the city of Miami in the state of Florida was destroyed on July 29.
The OIJ and the U.S. Embassy said Costa Rica worked with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to have the narcotics destroyed. The drugs’ street value was estimated to be as high as US$5 billion, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“The removal of this much cocaine for destruction demonstrates the successful joint operations the U.S. and Costa Rica undertake in the fight against organized criminal networks as well as our ongoing co-operation,” Eric Turner, a U.S. Embassy spokesperson, said in a prepared statement.
Costa Rica has emerged as a major transit nation for cocaine shipped from South America, according to the UNODC.
[Tico Times (Costa Rica), 07/31/2013; Costa Rica Hoy (Costa Rica), 29/07/2013]