Mexican Drug Cartel Takes a Hit in Costa Rica

June 18, 2010

 

Costa Rican police have detained 14 people with connections to Mexico’s Michoacán drug cartel.

The detainees are alleged to be involved in the transport of drugs from Costa Rica’s Southern Zone to a storage area in the Pacific port city of Puntarenas, before the drugs are sent to Guatemala, Mexico or Miami. The operations were directed by a Mexican father-son team based in Alajuela, northwest of San José.

According to Public Security Vice Minister Jorge Chavarría, police have seven Costa Ricans and seven Mexicans in custody.

“What’s most interesting is the participation of Costa Ricans,” Chavarría said. “Most of the network here is made up of Costa Ricans.”

The group has been under investigation since February, when 969 kilograms of cocaine were found near Miramar, near the Pacific port of Puntarenas, and almost $250,000 in cash was found on a woman at JuanSantamaríaInternationalAirport the next day. Both cases were determined to be related to the Mexican cartel. Soon after, authorities seized 49 kg of cocaine from a Costa Rican with the surname Gutiérrez, who was also determined to be connected to the Michoacán cartel.

Chavarría said he believes that with these arrests, the cartel’s operation in the country has been eliminated.

–Chrissie Long

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