Costa Rican security forces have a new plane, thanks to narco-traffickers

By Dialogo
October 30, 2014



Costa Rican security forces have destroyed the metric ton of cocaine they seized aboard a King Air F90 – but have decided to put the plane to good use.

The country’s Public Security Ministry (MSP) repainted the plane, named it the MSP 020, and is using it to conduct anti-narcotics patrols. The twin-turbo aircraft is worth millions of dollars; about 20 countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Colombia, have used a version of this plane in a security or defense role.

The MSP 020 is the lone Costa Rican police plane that can fly to Isla del Coco, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. The plane allows authorities to get to the islands in 90 minutes, instead of the 36 hours it takes to get there by boat.

“Costa Rica today has an air fleet that for the first time has the ability to carry out an aerial patrol to Isla del Coco,” Costa Rican Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa Sánchez said in a prepared statement. “This is the first time that the Public Security Ministry has reached 22,000 feet with its own resources.”

Knights Templar leader ‘La Tuta’ calls himself a criminal


As Mexican security forces close in on Knights Templar kingpin Servando “La Tuta” Gómez, capturing several members of his family and alleged close associates, he has released a statement acknowledging his criminal actions.]

“I am convinced that one day I will have to pay, and let it be [with my] death,” he said, according to an audio recording posted on the Internet on October 28. “I repeat: I don’t ask clemency or benevolence for myself. I am a criminal, I acknowledge that I did wrong, I will have to pay.”

Mexican security forces believe La Tuta is hiding in the mountains in the western state of Michoácan. In the audio recording, La Tuta acknowledges that they’re looking for him.

The recording comes only days after multiple arrests of La Tuta’s family and alleged associates.

On October 23, Martin Godoy, the chief prosecutor in the state of Michoácan, announced that security forces had captured La Tuta’s ex-wife, Ana Patiño López. The previous day, police had arrested Sayonara Gómez, their daughter. Previously their two sons, Huber Gomez and Luis Servando, had also been captured.

And just a few days earlier, on October 18, Federal Police (PF) agents captured La Tuta’s alleged close associate Alberto Romero Rodríguez - also known as “El Tucan” - in the wealthy La Condesa district of Mexico City. He had a handgun and two pounds of what appeared to be synthetic drugs when captured.

Federal law enforcement officials suspect El Tucan of leading several attacks against security forces. In June 2013, he allegedly led an attack against intelligence officers and federal troops in the municipality of Los Reyes. In that incident, Knights Templar used fragmentation grenades to attack a hotel where security forces were staying.

In January, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto deployed FP agents and soldiers to Michoácan to confront the Knights Templar, which engages in drug trafficking, assassinations, extortion, and kidnapping.


Costa Rican security forces have destroyed the metric ton of cocaine they seized aboard a King Air F90 – but have decided to put the plane to good use.

The country’s Public Security Ministry (MSP) repainted the plane, named it the MSP 020, and is using it to conduct anti-narcotics patrols. The twin-turbo aircraft is worth millions of dollars; about 20 countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Colombia, have used a version of this plane in a security or defense role.

The MSP 020 is the lone Costa Rican police plane that can fly to Isla del Coco, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. The plane allows authorities to get to the islands in 90 minutes, instead of the 36 hours it takes to get there by boat.

“Costa Rica today has an air fleet that for the first time has the ability to carry out an aerial patrol to Isla del Coco,” Costa Rican Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa Sánchez said in a prepared statement. “This is the first time that the Public Security Ministry has reached 22,000 feet with its own resources.”

Knights Templar leader ‘La Tuta’ calls himself a criminal


As Mexican security forces close in on Knights Templar kingpin Servando “La Tuta” Gómez, capturing several members of his family and alleged close associates, he has released a statement acknowledging his criminal actions.]

“I am convinced that one day I will have to pay, and let it be [with my] death,” he said, according to an audio recording posted on the Internet on October 28. “I repeat: I don’t ask clemency or benevolence for myself. I am a criminal, I acknowledge that I did wrong, I will have to pay.”

Mexican security forces believe La Tuta is hiding in the mountains in the western state of Michoácan. In the audio recording, La Tuta acknowledges that they’re looking for him.

The recording comes only days after multiple arrests of La Tuta’s family and alleged associates.

On October 23, Martin Godoy, the chief prosecutor in the state of Michoácan, announced that security forces had captured La Tuta’s ex-wife, Ana Patiño López. The previous day, police had arrested Sayonara Gómez, their daughter. Previously their two sons, Huber Gomez and Luis Servando, had also been captured.

And just a few days earlier, on October 18, Federal Police (PF) agents captured La Tuta’s alleged close associate Alberto Romero Rodríguez - also known as “El Tucan” - in the wealthy La Condesa district of Mexico City. He had a handgun and two pounds of what appeared to be synthetic drugs when captured.

Federal law enforcement officials suspect El Tucan of leading several attacks against security forces. In June 2013, he allegedly led an attack against intelligence officers and federal troops in the municipality of Los Reyes. In that incident, Knights Templar used fragmentation grenades to attack a hotel where security forces were staying.

In January, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto deployed FP agents and soldiers to Michoácan to confront the Knights Templar, which engages in drug trafficking, assassinations, extortion, and kidnapping.
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