(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica’s immigration service is on high alert for the possible arrival of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who escaped from a Mexican prison on Saturday.
Authorities in Costa Rica fear that Chapo, who Mexican authorities have not been able to recapture, may seek refuge in the country.
In a 2010 Narcotics Control Report, the U.S. Department of State, warns that Costa Rica is a warehouse, headquarters and link between North America and Colombia, for the Sinaloa Cartel.
Two weeks ago the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) reported detaining a number of criminals with possible ties to the Sinaloa Cartel. See Sinaola Group Moved Drugs From Colombia to Costa Rica to Mexico
Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarría told media that, “Guzmán doesn’t just have power in Mexico, there is a complete Central American under his control. In the past, we have even had information that his family members were on vacation here.”
“Obviously he will not use a commercial flight or an authorized private flight,” Chavarria said.
“We havetwo versions, he could be here and that at least his children could have been here in Costa Rica,” Chavarria said. According to the Attorney General, the fact that the Sinaloa cartel has a presence in the country, it would used to cover up his presence, in any given case.
“In the first place the Sinaloa Cartel operates in Costa Rica, has national support, has people who could provide hiding places and keep him safe. But the same is true in the rest of Central America,” Chavarria said.
For Security Minister Gustavo Mata, for “El Chapo” could be “safer” to stay in his own country.
Authorities haven’t registered any official entry for Guzmán in the last 10 years, however at this time they assume that an illegal entry would be more likely.
Editor’s note: “Chepe” is the slang name for San Jose.