San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Photo of Costa Rican police with cooked monkey ignites controversy

In a country that often boasts of its successes in protecting its wildlife, a photo showing two officers from the Costa Rican National Police Force with a cooked monkey does not offer up a good look.

The officers in question were working the anti-drug patrol in the Talamanca region in southern Costa Rica when, according to a news release from the Public Security Ministry, they came upon an indigenous camp in the area where locals were cooking a monkey on an open flame.

An uproar arose on social media after a photo surfaced that apparently shows the National Police Force officers posing next to the monkey, oneof them with a piece of monkey meat in his hand. However, Public Security Ministry authorities denied that the police officers had anything to do with killing or cooking the monkey.

(Taken from Teletica/Facebook)

The Public Security Ministry release stated that the officers took pictures and then shared them in a WhatsApp group. It also stated that members of the indigenous group explained to police that they often cook and eat monkeys to survive.

The ministry is still investigating the behavior of the two officers, who were in the Talamanca region to eradicate illegal marijuana plantations that are often discovered in isolated parts of the mountains.

This is the second controversy that has stemmed from cops’ personal communications in a WhatsApp group in less than a month. In February, multiple officers relayed audio messages in which they appeared to be promoting a coup d’état.
Contact Michael Krumholtz at

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Ruby Anne Mendoza

How awful! Indigenous people have other foods to survive on. This is unnecessary! The police officers should be prosecuted for posing in these awful photos!

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I, myself am now fifth level vegan
When I discovered that plants are also living beings, I quit eating anything that cast a shadow.

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Good on these officers for showing compassion to the most often denigrated indigenes

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