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.

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.

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

COSTA RICA / 29 MAY 2014

Costa Rica's export sector is suffering profoundly from the effects of drug traffickers as the use of shipments of fresh…

COSTA RICA / 2 APR 2018

Voters in Costa Rica just chose their next president, but the incoming head of state doesn't seem to have a…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 11 FEB 2015

Costa Rican authorities have conducted a series of raid against what they believe is an international arms trafficking ring with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…