HomeNewsBriefDrug War Has Made Costa Rica More Violent: President
BRIEF

Drug War Has Made Costa Rica More Violent: President

COSTA RICA / 24 SEP 2012 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

President Laura Chinchilla criticized the current strategy of the war on drugs, saying that it has worsened violence and corruption in her country -- something illustrated by recent reports on the rise of "narco-families" in Costa Rica.

“We’ve had about 10 to 15 years of pursuing a strategy with certain characteristics, and in precisely this period, violence, extortion, and corruption in our countries, far from improving, have worsened,” Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said in an interview with Mexican newspaper Excelsior.

Chinchilla said the current drug-control strategy, focused on interdiction, had not worked and had even worsened the situation, “provoking consumption and violence in countries that were once just transit areas.”  

The president called on the United Nations to adopt a greater role in the fight against drug trafficking, and urged the international community to take on the drug trade as a threat to global security, as it has done with terrorism.

InSight Crime Analysis

Costa Rica, which has long been spared the worst effects of the drug trade, is an increasingly important transit hub for cocaine trafficked from South America to Mexico. Recent high profile cases have made the problem especially visible. A group of 18 Mexicans who posed as journalists while they attempted to smuggle $9.2 million in cash through Nicaragua, for instance, had reportedly traveled to Costa Rica several times.

Chinchilla has been critical of the current approach to the war on drugs, saying that she is open to dialogue on alternatives. In an interview last year, she called drug trafficking the greatest threat her country has ever faced.

Costa Rica has dismantled 619 drug trafficking cells since 2006, according to a report by InfoSurHoy, of which nearly one third were “narco-families,” where entire clans, up to the grandparents, were involved in the drug trade. The emergence of narco-families does not bode well for Costa Rica, as many of Mexico's and Colombia’s largest drug cartels were first built around family units, the director of the Mexico Institute at The Woodrow Wilson Center told InfoSurHoy.  

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 / 13 FEB 2017

Costa Rica's Attorney General said local criminal groups are being recruited and trained by Mexican drug cartels, further indication of…

COSTA RICA / 19 MAY 2011

Costa Rica’s President, Laura Chinchilla, said Central American governments should increase co-operation to combat the penetration of the drug trade…

CONTRABAND / 3 NOV 2020

A sizeable seizure of adulterated rum shipped to Honduras from Europe reveals the extent to which black markets for alcohol…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…

THE ORGANIZATION

Informing US State Department and European Union

1 APR 2022

InSight Crime Co-director McDermott briefed the US State Department and other international players on the presence of Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela and the implication this has for both nations.  McDermott…