Costa Rica’s Solís flies in former drug plane to El Salvador

November 27, 2014
2 Comments

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís flew to El Salvador on an official visit Wednesday morning in a plane once owned by drug traffickers. This is Solís’ second official trip with the plane after his flight to Panama on Nov. 19.

The president seems to have figured out that the key to flying in a airplane with a tainted history is to do so after the police have seized it and given it a fresh coat of paint, and not while its owner is suspected of having links to drug cartels, an oversight that rocked Costa Rica’s former President Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) and her administration.

The King F90 propeller plane was seized by police in December 2013 on a private airfield in Limón. Authorities discovered a metric ton of cocaine stuffed inside the cabin of the $1.2 million plane. Since the one-time drug prop plane was rechristened as MSP 020, it has carried out several ambulatory flights and become the first government aircraft to reach the remote Cocos Island.

Besides seizing drug traffickers’ airplanes, Costa Rica has done pretty well for itself nabbing their product, too – at least compared to other Central American nations. The Public Security Ministry has seized 22.5 metric tons of cocaine in 2014 as of Nov. 23, according to a statement from the ministry.

Solís announced his trip to El Salvador during a press conference at Casa Presidencial on Tuesday. Solís was scheduled to briefly meet with El Salvador’s President Salvador Sánchez before attending the inauguration of a monument to former Costa Rican President Juan Rafael Mora Porras and General José María Cañas. Thanks to MSP 020’s cruising speed of 276 mph, Solís was expected back in Costa Rica by 5 p.m.

(Courtesy Public Security Ministry)
The King Air F90 jet that was once flown by Guatemalan drug traffickers carrying a metric ton of cocaine is now the latest addition to Costa Rica's fleet of planes. (Courtesy Public Security Ministry)

Correction, Thursday Nov. 27: This article originally reported that the King F90 was a jet, not a propeller plane, and that its top speed was 450 mph.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Herediano to face Saprissa in Apertura final
Soccer
321 views
Soccer
321 views

Herediano to face Saprissa in Apertura final

AFP / The Tico Times - December 10, 2018

CS Herediano defeated LD Alajuelense on penalties and won on Sunday the second phase of the Apertura tournament of Costa…

Costa Rica appoints Guillermo Rodriguez as first indigenous ambassador
Costa Rica
718 views
Costa Rica
718 views

Costa Rica appoints Guillermo Rodriguez as first indigenous ambassador

John McPhaul - December 10, 2018

The Costa Rican government named Guillermo Rodriguez Romero, an indigenous Bribri attorney from the village of Suretka in Talamanca, as…

Weary Venezuelans in low-turnout win for ruling party
Latin America
655 views
Latin America
655 views

Weary Venezuelans in low-turnout win for ruling party

AFP/ Alexander Martinez and Esteban Rojas - December 10, 2018

Venezuelans stayed away in droves Sunday from municipal elections, handing a victory to the ruling party -- but with just…