HomeNewsBriefDrug Suspect's Arrest Raises Questions About Nicaragua Judicial Corruption
BRIEF

Drug Suspect's Arrest Raises Questions About Nicaragua Judicial Corruption

COSTA RICA / 11 SEP 2018 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

Authorities in Costa Rica arrested an alleged leader of an international drug trafficking organization while he was dining with the son of a Nicaraguan Supreme Court magistrate, raising longstanding questions about criminal influence in judicial institutions in Nicaragua.

On September 5, Interpol agents and members of Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Agency (Organismo de Investigación Judicial – OIJ) arrested suspected Nicaraguan drug trafficker Mario Juan Pereira Ramos at a restaurant in the capital San José, Interpol's Deputy Director Luis Diego Morera announced during a press conference.

David Salomón Rosales -- the son of Nicaragua Supreme Court Magistrate Francisco “Chicón” Rosales -- was also initially arrested. He was released a short time later after authorities determined he did not have any pending arrest warrants and was not carrying any weapons, according to Morera. Rosales is said to be an ally of Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Criminal Migration

Authorities had been investigating and gathering intelligence on Pereira Ramos for the last two months, and Interpol's Morera said that Pereira Ramos is wanted in the United States for his alleged role as an “important leader of a criminal organization” involved in international drug trafficking. 

The suspected drug trafficker allegedly spent time in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica, he added. Pereira Ramos was renting a house just north of the capital in Heredia in addition to renting another house in Limón along the country’s Caribbean coast, according to Morera.

Authorities in the United States have not formally requested Pereira Ramos’ extradition, but Morera said that Costa Rican authorities will cooperate with US authorities when they do.

InSight Crime Analysis

The optics are not good: the son of a Supreme Court magistrate in Nicaragua was enjoying lunch with someone wanted in the United States for drug trafficking. And it's not the first time questions have been raised about drug traffickers' connections to judges in Nicaragua.

As far back as 2010, former Nicaraguan Interior Minister Ana Isabel Morales denounced that there were multiple judges and magistrates that had granted releases or sentence reductions to as many as 1,000 drug traffickers, including members of Mexico’s notorious Sinaloa Cartel. 

SEE ALSO: Nicaragua News and Profiles

There is little official information on Salomón Rosales. But a video currently circulating on the messaging application WhatsApp appears to show him boasting about how he is "untouchable" in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 25 FEB 2021

Venezuelan officials may have finally met a PDVSA corruption scandal they cannot allow to go unpunished, hinting at just how…

ELITES AND CRIME / 23 JUL 2020

The architect of a new gang alliance in Haiti has quite a reputation for human rights abuses.

BARRIO 18 / 19 JUL 2017

Authorities in Mexico's southern border region have detained a growing number of gang members in 2017. Their affiliation, however,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.