QCOSTARICA – Tourists travelling to Costa Rica for fun in the sun and to becoming a drug mule – “burro” in Spanish – is a common occurrence, says the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP), that maintains strict controls at the Juan Santamaria international airport.

According to statistics from the Policía de Control de Drogas (PCD) – Costa Rica’s drug enforcement police – so far this year, a total of 19 people – 17 men and two women – have been detained for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs out the country.

Of the total only two were a Costa Rican, the rest foreigners visiting the country.

The statistics indicate the majority of the “burros” caught are Guatemalan nationals. In total, eight Guatemalans have been detained by the PCD loaded with cocaine, the drug of choice. Among the others are three Nicaraguans, two Dutch, two Mexicans, one Spaniard and one Italian.


The latest was this morning (Monday), when a 29 year old  Nicaraguan man headed for Madrid was caught with almost 2 kilos (1,964 grams) grams of cocaine hidden the double lining of his suitcase.


Anyone detained in their attempt to leave the country carrying illegal drugs are exposed to a prison sentence of 12 years.

The MSP did not indicate if the 2105 numbers are higher or lower than last year for the same period.

Photos courtesy Ministerio de Seguridad Publica

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