HomeNewsBriefCosta Rica Seizes 1.7 Tons Of Cocaine on Caribbean Coast
BRIEF

Costa Rica Seizes 1.7 Tons Of Cocaine on Caribbean Coast

COSTA RICA / 13 MAR 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Costa Rican police have seized 1.7 tons of cocaine from a boat on the country’s Caribbean coast, in another indicator of the the growing importance of this Central American nation as a drug transshipment point.

A go-fast boat was spotted by Air Surveillance Service officials who followed it until it ran aground near Manzanillo beach in the southern Caribbean department of Limon on March 12.

The boat was towed to nearby Puerto Limon, where authorities counted 69 packages of cocaine, each consisting of approximately 25 kilos, reported CR Hoy, worth a total of around US $10 million (5 billion Costa Rican colones).

Four suspects on the boat escaped into the jungle, suggesting they were being guided by someone with expert knowledge of the area, according to CR Hoy. According to the Tico Times, Anti-Drug Commissioner Mauricio Boraschi said preliminary investigations indicated they may be Colombian.

Authorities also found 27 gasoline containers, 10 of them filled, each with a 200 liter capacity, reported the AFP.

InSight Crime Analysis

Though one of the least violent countries in the region, Costa Rica, like its Central American counterparts, has become an increasingly important point in drug trafficking routes, with officials estimating that cocaine was trafficked from Costa Rica to 39 countries on four different continents during 2012. Costa Rica’s cocaine seizures from 2011 to 2012 nearly doubled, rising from 9.2 to 15.5 tons.

Including the latest seizure, authorities have discovered approximately five tons of cocaine this year, with earlier seizures including 775 kilos in late January and one ton of cocaine in late February, the first of which also occurred in Manzanillo. At five tons, less than three months into the year, it appears that total seizures may rise again in 2013.

The drug trade in Costa Rica is “growingly monopolized by” Mexican drug cartels and their Colombian business partners, according to a 2012 report by the Costa Rican Drugs Institute (ICD). Roughly 98 percent of all drug seizures are connected to the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the US State Department.

The ICD cited the southern border with Panama — near where the most recent seizure was made — as a particularly vulnerable point for the entry of drugs into the country. Despite the current government’s focus on improving security measures to combat drug trafficking, a lack of resources and bureaucratic problems continue to hinder efforts, according to the US State Department’s 2013 narcotics control report.

Increased drug trafficking through Costa Rica exemplifies a regional trend — the United States estimates that over 80 percent of cocaine trafficked to the US in 2012 passed through Central America.

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

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

COLOMBIA / 9 FEB 2016

According to a recent report, a leader of Colombian guerrilla group the FARC has multi-million dollar properties in Costa Rica,…

COSTA RICA / 12 OCT 2012

Following years of pressure by environmental groups, Costa Rica has passed a comprehensive ban on shark finning, outlawing not only…

COSTA RICA / 19 JUL 2012

Seven police officers in Costa Rica have been sentenced to 22 years in prison for drug trafficking. Their convictions are…

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…