HomeNewsBriefCosta Rica Assassins Being Trained By Mexico Cartels: Official
BRIEF

Costa Rica Assassins Being Trained By Mexico Cartels: Official

COSTA RICA / 26 NOV 2015 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

Assassins from Costa Rica are reportedly traveling to Mexico to receive specialized training from criminal groups, suggesting Costa Rican criminals are growing in sophistication by learning from their more experienced foreign counterparts.

According to Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarria, local contract killers are traveling to Mexico to learn skills such as target practice, intelligence gathering, escape tactics, and how to use high-caliber weapons like AK-47s, reported La Nacion.

Costa Rica's Anti-Narcotics Police (PCD) suggested a number of contract killers were instructed by Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, but that some others also travel to different countries for training. The PCD added that new recruits in Costa Rica will often learn from those who have trained abroad, or on the streets.

According to Chavarria, these strategies learnt abroad are evident in the more violent, specialized ways in which assassinations are being carried out.

Specialized assassins in Costa Rica are between 18 and 30 years of age, and typically either work providing security for criminal organizations or as killers for hire, Chavarria stated. The use of motorcycles -- in which assassins shoot the victim from the passenger seat while another person drives -- is currently the most popular method for contract kills, according to authorities.

Although hired guns began appearing in the country at the end of the 1990s, their use in Costa Rica began intensifying in 2012, according to the PCD.

InSight Crime Analysis

In recent years, due to its strategic location along transnational drug trafficking routes, Costa Rica has seen a growing number of criminal organizations -- from both Latin America and beyond -- using its territory for illicit activities. Indeed, the move by Mexican cartels to take over Costa Rican trafficking routes has even led to the Central American nation being dubbed a "Mexican colony." In the past, Costa Rican groups were usually used as local facilitators by transnational criminal organizations for drug shipments transiting the country.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Costa Rica

This may be changing. Along with suggestions assassins are training in Mexico, other recent examples indicate Costa Ricans themselves are learning from their more experienced foreign "professors"; becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of carrying out specialized criminal activities. For instance, on November 24, authorities dismantled a drug trafficking network that delivered 60 kg of cocaine a month from Colombia to Costa Rica. Two Colombians and two Costa Ricans were arrested, with the Colombians apparently in charge of the group's operations.

Moreover, this cocaine was destined for Costa Rica's growing internal drug market. Control for this market has been blamed for the country's violence escalating to "pandemic" levels, as national authorities believe nearly half of all murders carried out in 2015 were related to drugs and organized crime.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BELIZE / 9 MAR 2017

The US State Department named seven Central American countries as havens for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking and…

COLOMBIA / 30 MAY 2017

Colombia's finance minister said Mexico should look to the South American country as an example to follow in the fight…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 15 SEP 2015

A new report says the majority of firearms trafficked into Mexico may not be manufactured in the United States, highlighting…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…