HomeNewsBriefCosta Rica Fishing Boats Moved Cocaine to Mexico
BRIEF

Costa Rica Fishing Boats Moved Cocaine to Mexico

COSTA RICA / 17 MAY 2013 BY MARIO CARRILLO AND ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Costa Rican authorities arrested four members of a drug ring charged with smuggling cocaine via boat from South America to Mexico, a case described as unusual because it involved Costa Rican rather than foreign traffickers. 

La Nacion reports that the suspects were arrested as part of a series of raids carried out by the country’s anti-drug police. The crew is accused of using Costa Rican fishing boats to move cocaine shipments from South America to Mexico. The crackdown comes after three suspected members of the same drug trafficking organization were captured 150 miles off the coast of Ecuador in late February, on board a speedboat packed with more than 300 kilos of cocaine.

Among those arrested was a man with the last name Gamboa Gomez, the presumed leader of the group.

InSight Crime Analysis

Costa Rica is typically used as a stopover point for drug trafficking organizations moving cocaine shipments northwards through Central America. Still, cases in which drug traffickers make the long journey from Costa Rica to South America to pick up cocaine shipments — without using other stopover points such as the Colombian coast or Panama along the way — are more unusual. 

Costa Rica’s security minister noted that the case was also “new” because it involved a Costa Rica-based organization that used boats to transport cocaine. Boats are typically used by foreign drug trafficking organizations to move cocaine shipments, while Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast was merely used as a refueling point and a logistical center, he said. However, in this case, the disguised fishing boats would sail from Golfito, off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, towards South America. 

The minster suggested that the ships sailed under the Costa Rican flag because they followed a route typically used by fishing boats, and believed they could detract the attention of international authorities.

Mexican crime organizations, namely Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel, are staking their claim to the Central American country and taking advantage of its “inadequate resources” in fighting organized crime.

Cocaine seizures continue to surpass all-time highs as more than five tons have been confiscated between January and March, and the issue of security remains high on the list of priorities for current Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

During a visit from President Barack Obama earlier this month, Chinchilla stressed the importance of the US’s role in helping Costa Rica combat rising insecurity.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Tags

Related Content

COSTA RICA / 27 NOV 2017

An interview with the alleged co-ordinator of a drug trafficking network in Colombia has confirmed that transnational criminal groups operate…

COSTA RICA / 8 JUL 2015

Costa Rica’s top security official has called for a new government body that specializes in fighting organized crime and drug…

COLOMBIA / 8 APR 2020

Online scams, ransomware attacks and phishing email schemes have proliferated in Latin America amid the coronavirus pandemic, exposing the dangers…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…