QCOSTARICA – The so-called “narco-novels” (drug trafficking related soap operas) on national television influencing young people with access to easy money, luxuries and women, is being blamed for the recent rash of drug related violences on the streets of Costa Rica.
Juan Jose Andrade, director of the Fuerza Publica (Chief of the national police force), said this type of programming is one of the factors that has affected the escalation of violence in the country.
Andrade said that when families gather in the evening, after work or studies, the national television channels are filled with this type of programming, and quickly consumed by Costa Rican society.
He said television station should analyze and adopt similar broadcasting practices in other countries for this type of programming, such as transmitting in different time slots.
Although the Chief can’t say with complete certainty the direct connection between the “narco-novelas” and the crime wasve, he did say that the Fuerza Publica (police), through their checkpoints and tactical operations, have detected the structure of partner and enemy gangs, involved in the sale of drugs on a minor scale as their main economic activity.
According to Andrade, they have identified people of all social strata “with and without tatoos” integrating in criminal structures, starting as young as 16..
Authorities consider these criminal groups move large sums of money and are responsible for the crime wave that has hit the country in the last couple of months, like the nine killings this past weekend, all believed to be related to the illegal drug trade.