Costa Rica’s Drug Control Police Dismantles Family-Run Narcotics Networks
By Dialogo September 23, 2013
SAN JOSÉ — Costa Rica’s Drug Control Police [Policia de Control de Drogas, or PCD] has dismantled at least 620 criminal bands this year, of which more than 170 were family-run drug networks, according to the country’s Ministry of Public Security.
“What is important is that these operations are not against peons in the organization, but rather against the entire structure of the organization,” Security Minister Mario Zamora said. Zamora spoke to reporters after his ministry broke apart a criminal group with operations in Costa Rica as well as Colombia, Panama, Honduras and Mexico.
Despite its success in dismantling these gangs, Costa Rica’s National Drug Plan lists family-run narcotics rings as one of the biggest challenges for the future.
In fact, family drug gangs — narcofamilias in Spanish — have been on the rise since 2009 when Colombian and Mexican cartels began paying their Central American traffickers in cocaine and other drugs rather than with cash, according to the PCD report. To make money, drug mules were forced to become local dealers and they pulled in their families to help build networks.
SIMEP aimed at fighting community crime
The family matriarch, either the mother or grandmother, often runs these gangs using the family’s home to hide drugs, according to the Costa Rican Drug Institute. Some 620 women are behind bars at Costa Rica’s only all-female prison, Buen Pastor. Nearly all are locked up on drug charges, said the Public Security Ministry.
In response to this growing threat, the ministry has beefed up its counter-drug measures within communities. Last December, it rolled out SIMEP — System for the Improvement of Police Strategy [Sistema Integral de Mejoramiento Estratégico Policial], which is designed specifically to fight local crime.
Based off New York City’s CompStat, SIMEP uses computer mapping to track where and when crime takes place. This technology enables police to predict crime and to note trends. SIMEP has proven particularly effective in identifying where criminal bands and narcofamilias operate.
“This data has shown that international crime is manifesting itself at the local level,” Zamora said during a news conference following the program’s release. “People are selling drugs on our streets, and with this technology we can track it.”
Investigations yield drug arrests
The Public Security Ministry also says a recent boost in police salaries has helped attract more qualified officers to the force. It adds that in the past several years, changes in policing have helped draw several important investigations to a close.
On Aug. 28, after a one-year probe, police arrested seven people suspected of selling ecstasy and cocaine through the mail. They seized more than 11,000 doses of ecstasy in the final operation. Another investigation that began in early 2012 concluded Sept. 7 wit
h the arrest of a Hungarian man suspected of leading a cocaine ring in San José. Police nabbed three of the group’s leaders, along with more than $335,000 in cash and drugs, according to a Security Ministry statement.
I believe that Drug Trafficking can be controlled if the Security Forces, especially the Anti-Drugs ones, are firm and don't become corrupted like in some countries, for example in Argentina, to make matters worse, the government doesn't militarize once and for all the borders with Bolivia, all it needs is a Presidential Decree and it's done. But, since there are politicians involved in the activity, it isn't done. The people, all of us should demand once and for all that this be done. The Army should, on a determined day, close the borders and perform people identification, because there are a lot of foreigners without papers who are wanted internationally and are running around our borders, committing felonies and making fun of our forces.
Thanks- 172 families dedicated to dealing caught by @seguridadcr. The strange thing is that they have't caught a single fat fish that supplies them or even better, those who help the elite of organized crime to move their dollars as they please from the bank or the financial sector.. (How many of these families were handed over to the police by drug trafficking chiefs for make-up effects?) This information is alarming but even more so is the fact that the authorities know who the narc politicians are, and instead of prosecuting, they are offering them full immunity. The most outstanding evidences are the cases of Ricardo Allen, appointed by the most questionable politician of CR at the Central American Bank, Caro Quintero, who supposedly had the protection of narc politicians and of Vesco. The problem is that the narc mafia of Costa Rica has so much economical, political and media power that, according to evidence, they control all the state powers and therefore only a united people, voting against their parties would be able to remove them from their positions in 2014. This situation is very disturbing if these are generally poor families, who perform the ants work, since tracking drugs on a small scale usually is very complicated and leads to errors. Costa Rica will have to work very hard on this. In Peru, while fighting against drug trafficking, huge amounts of capital and resources are invested, even the deaths of several policemen, in order to stop the drugs from leaving the country and reaching consumers such as the U.S. and Europe, which is good. But they don't treat micro-commercialization of drugs the same way, meaning the sale of drugs on the small scale, on the streets of Lima and other cities, situation that is causing violence, attacks and robberies, increasing the insecurity of the citizens. Is it not important to defend and protect the young Peruvians? this is great What's currently happening in my beloved Costa Rica is very sad, but I think all police forces are doing an excellent work.
Unfortunately, our air and sea borders lack a more thorough and sharp police work, since we don't have the advanced technology to detect them before they detect us. I am certain that those broken families as we say in NICARAGUA, were families with limited financial resources who went down that road driven by necessity and by seeing that those with resources were common families, political families and also the state system, so they would stay or live off drug trafficking. AND IT WILL CONTINUE THIS WAY, THOSE WITH RESOURCES DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE DEA. THEY ARE IMPROVING THE BUSINESS FOR CORRUPTED POLITICIANS AND WEALTHY PEOPLE FROM THE SUPER DRUG WAREHOUSE AS IT WAS BAPTIZED BY THE BEST POLICE FORCE IN THE WORLD, THE NICARAGUAN NATIONAL POLICE. EVERYTHING WILL REMAIN THE SAME BECAUSE THE REAL ONES ARE UNTOUCHABLES. The ruler of this world is Satan and it's been proven that he's a bad ruler. The heads of each country should work harder to enforce the law (be coercive), if there's no seller, there's no consumer, to cut the problem from its root, any fruitless tree goes into the fire and the trees that do give fruits can go on, and thus we throw Satan into the deep abyss where there's no turning back. Satan is the enemy of all rectitude and of all of those who seek the will of the lord. This happens everywhere in the world, most rich people, soldiers and politicians are corrupt and donâ€™t â€Žcare at all, or care very little about the country they live in. These people would sell or execute their own mother for money or power. Unfortunately this plague exists because they run or lead the state apparatus themselves, and they look for legal ways to stay in power with the help of the very structures and mechanisms of the States and Nations. I like that you are taking care of the country. Thatâ€™s it, Mr. Mario Zamora... if we donâ€™t crack down on drug trafficking, this disease (cancer) may spread even more than nowâ€¦ The worldâ€™s major countries which control the drug trafficking ring are Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. What will happen to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren if we donâ€™t fight the drug trafficking? THE DRUG DEALER HIMSELF DOESNâ€™T WANT HIS OWN CHILDREN DRUGGED OR BEING DRUG ADDICTSâ€¦ Why should other peopleâ€™s children? How could that be? The Colombian contamination is paying off... Colombia is the biggest terrorist country in the world, followed by the United States. This type of important information loses its meaning when the names of the people involved are not mentioned, which is the only way to achieve moral sanction and retributive justice. Drug trafficking in my country and in my department has created many genocides while causing us locals to abandon our homes and seek refuge in other regions due to the wave of insecurity. What a pity, how can we bring up children from a moral standpoint? When are they going to put away the narco-politicians? They seem to have gotten stronger. THESE ACTIONS ARE WHAT MAKE US TRUST IN OUR POLICE FORCES TO CLEAR THE STREETS OF NARCS. How sad that because of a few, Mr. Manual Perea is demonizing the Colombian people. With such stupid thoughts, only we the Colombians are contaminating the earth. That's why we are they way we are. I imagine your country is the purest one on earth. The consequences of drug usage are catastrophic for society. A young man that earns a lot of money from selling will never get an education and work. He will lose all values and principles and become a degenerate. Say no to drugs. Prevention is a good measure. Preventing women from having to sell drugs to eat, to overcome poverty and take care of their families. Provide a worthy and well-compensated job to those women and they won't have to sell drugs. The penalization of drugs has been imposed by the United States, a country that has already legalized marijuana in the majority of its territory and has chemical substitutes of cocaine. Once again, our governors have fallen in the trap of the empire and are attacking their own people, who have turned to trafficking because of the marginalization created by the neo-liberal policies. Our rulers and legislators are the ones who should be in jail because they are the true originators and enablers of drug trafficking in Costa Rica, for not figuring out in time the intelligent maneuvers of the clever giant in the North, who already knew from the experience of alcohol prohibition that the only result of prohibitionist policies is increased organized crime. It's troubling to realize that entire families dedicate themselves to these crimes that hurt society so much. The problem with drugs is that fighting against them only made selling them more lucrative. As if penalizing drug trafficking actually supported it. Rebellion feeds off the opposition it faces. If you manage to eliminate one, another more dangerous takes its place when opportunity arises. Many of you, before stating your opinions, should take a spelling course urgently - and Mr. Manuel Perea - your comments are arrogant and disrespectful, as a Costa Rican, I tell you that in every country there are good people and bad ones. Ridiculous Canâ€™t imagine