Immigration Proposes Taking Tourists’ Prints

January 11, 2008

The JuanSantamaríaAirport could soon have fingerprinting machines that take visitors’ thumbprints upon entry into the country.

Immigration Director Mario Zamora said the proposed system – which would combine a digital photo, an electronic passport seal and a digital thumbprint – would help combat the black market for stolen tourist passports, sold for use by third parties to apply for residency.

“The interesting thing about this is that there cannot be a seal without a photo” or a thumbprint, Zamora said, which would make altering the passport useless.

Costa Rica has one of the highest rates of passport theft in the world, and the documents can sell for thousands of dollars on the black market.

If the pilot program at Juan Santamaría is a success, Immigration would turn to using the system at all international airports and border crossings, Zamora said.

For now, however, it remains to be seen whether the pilot project will ever get going.

Zamora said the government has no money for the project and is seeking financing from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.

 

You may be interested

Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets
Central America
368 views
Central America
368 views

Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets

Noe Leiva / AFP - December 15, 2017

Supporters of the leftist opposition in Honduras blocked streets in various cities around that country on Friday, despite political repression,…

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
1476 views
Please Send Coffee!
1476 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
1291 views
Weather
1291 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…