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QCOSTARICA – The majority of border crossings between Costa Rica and Panama is by way of Paso Canoas. However, with the introduction of the “Policía de Fronteras en la Zona Sur” (southern border police unit), this year, the Fuerza Publica (police) have now detected between 100 and 120 “trochas”  (irregular) crossing points, used for various offences such as traffic of illegals and drugs.

According to Juan José Andrade, director of the Fuerza Pública, the crossings are used by illegals entering Costa Rica and the movement of illegal drugs, weapons and merchandise to avoid customs controls and taxes.

Previously there existed only a northern border police to control the border with Nicaragua.

“This manpower will generate greater control, not only of irregular crossing, but all traffic that is generated in the southern border area,” director Andrade said.

The police director did not specify the number of officials patrolling the Panama border.

Disagreeing with Andrade is Frank Abrego, CEO fo the Servicio Nacional de Fronteras (Senafront). In an article in the PanamaAmerica.com.pa on Tuesday, Abrego said the number is closer to 300.

A meeting of Costa Rica and Panama police directors, to review the joint border operations, is scheduled for March 2015.