Tuesday 18 January 2022

Costa Rica Is “A Haven For Drug Smugglers”, Says New OIJ Director

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New head of the OIJ, Walter Espinoza, vows to combat organized crime.
New head of the OIJ, Walter Espinoza, vows to combat organized crime.

QCOSTARICA – The new head of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), Walter Espinoza, says that the country needs a specialized unit to combat organized crime.

Espinoza, elected on Monday to lead the country’s judicial police force (akin to the FBI), says one of his first tasks is to create such a unit, but recognizes that the process will take some time, to undergo technical studies to determine how it would operate.

He added that the creation of the new unit is also subject to budget constraints and staffing.

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The new OIJ director explained that Costa Rica is filling up with drug traffickers, part of the “systematic movement” of illegal drugs from South America to markets to the north.

The proposal for anti-organized crime unit was made by Espinoza several weeks ago, as part of his interview in the selection process.

Espinoza, one of 12 candidates vying for the position, was chosen by a majority of judges of the Supreme Court on Monday morning. His appointment will take effect on December 1.

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