Mariano Figueres, director of Costa Rica's intelligence service, Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia y Seguridad (DIS)
Mariano Figueres, director of Costa Rica’s intelligence service, Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia y Seguridad (DIS)

QCOSTARICA – The country’s national intelligence service, the Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia y Seguridad (DIS), confirms it is investigating at least two visits to Costa Rica by children of Mexican drug lord Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán, known as “Chapo”.

DIS director, Mariano Figueres, said the visits were in 2014, during the presidential election campaign, at a tourist site in San Carlos, Alajuela, which he said he could yet reveal.

Guzman was arrested on February 22, 2014, after 13 years on the run. He was sent to the maximum security prison El Altiplano, in Moloya, Mexico, where he escaped from on July 11, 2015.

Figueres said three of Chapo Guzman’s eight children are being investigated for drug trafficking in Mexico and the United States. The director did not identify which of the two children visited Costa Rica.

Both Mexico’s Attorney General and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, also known as Luis or Chapito, under investigation. The other two, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar and Ovidio Guzmán López are alleged to be money collectors for the Sinaloa cartel headed by their father and laundering the money in the US and getting it back to Mexico.

Authorities say the other of Chapo Guzman’s children, to date, have no ties to their father’s business.

For Figueres combatting organized crime is one of his priorities, especially at a time when the country is facing an onslaught of violence from criminal groups, with street gang murders.

Chapo Guzman in custody.
Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán in custody in Feb. 2014

Walter Espinoza, the recently appointed director of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), said there are assumptions of the presense of Chap Guzman’s family in the country, but have never been confirmed. “We have no information that allows us to affirm it seriously,” said Espinoza.

However, the OIJ continues an active investigation of the Sinaloa cartel in the country.

In June and July of this year, the OIJ arrested three Mexicans allegedly part of an international drug trafficking group operating in the country.

Gerald Campos, then acting director of the OIJ and Celso Gamboa, deputy prosecutor at the time, said the group believed to belong to the Sinaloa, would rent mansions in San Isidro de Heredia, to store illegal drugs from Colombia, them shipped north.

108_201512028uzBubSource: La Nacion