Chinchilla focuses on crime fight in regional tour
Costa Rican President-elect Laura Chinchilla is expected to continue her Latin American tour this week in Mexico and Colombia, pursuing the crime-fighting theme that has topped her tour´s agenda so far.
Chinchilla´s itinerary has already included stops in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama, visits that were likely to shore up the former vice president´s diplomatic credentials ahead of her May 8 inauguration.
Last Wednesday in Panama, Chinchilla said she and Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli plan to combat organized crime head-on.
“We´re about to initiate a series of security operations to stem drug trafficking and money laundering,” Chinchilla said. “This is an opportune moment to coordinate with our Panamanian counterparts, because this fight can only be won if we do it together.”
A U.S. State Department report released in March said drug runners have shifted their operations to smuggling corridors in Central America. Recent police operations in Costa Rica suggest this country increasingly has become a storage and finance destination for regional drug traffickers.
Narcotics officials here claim that the region´s swelling drug problem has grown in part from hard crackdowns in countries such as Mexico and Colombia.
Chinchilla´s visits also have touched on another prickly regional issue: Honduras. Chinchilla is lobbying for a swift re-entry of the Central American country into the Organization of American States, after that body suspended Honduras following the June coup. Chinchilla met April 12 with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, who took office in January after a controversial November election.
You may be interested
Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impactJohn McPhaul - December 12, 2017
As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…
Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa RicaKatherine Stanley - December 12, 2017
High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…
With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalieAFP - December 11, 2017
Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…