Seven people traveling in cars were shot dead and two others injured in 8 days (September 1 and 8) in different parts of the country, according to data from the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ).

Two of the attacks resulted in double victims, while the others were of a single victim each.

The most recent attack Sunday night (September 8) when two men who were inside a car, outside a fast-food restaurant in Hatillo 5, San José, when shot dead.

In this case, as is many of the cases, there were multiple gunmen, on a motorcycle, shooting at the intended victims in a moving or stopped car.

Ernesto Durán, head of the Sección de Inspecciones Oculares y Recolección de Indicios (Siori) – Crime Scene Unit – of the OIJ, said it is presumed that most of the cases are linked to drug trafficking, ruling out random shootings.

Durán points to the case in Cartago Saturday night, in the area of Cabello Blanco de Dulce Nombre, where the intended victims were the leader of a drug gang that was broken up by the OIJ Monday morning, and his girlfriend, who died Monday morning in hospital. The two children in the vehicle survived the attack.

Walter Espinoza, head of the OIJ, said they suspect the attack was led by the former leader of the drug gang.

“The gang operated for months in Cartago, monopolizing the sale of crack and marijuana in various bunkers, primarily in the Llanos de Santa Lucia.

“They had people dedicated  exclusively to selling drugs, while others were in charge of distribution to the points of sale, collecting money and administration,” said Espinoza.

In the Monday morning raid in 19 different locations, including homes and bunkers, 15 people were arrested, 25 firearms seized and an untold amount of cash and drugs.

So far this year (up to Monday, September 9) the OIJ reports 380 homicides, 31 less than the same period last year.