Over the last few years, law enforcement agencies in Costa Rica have noticed a sharp increase in the number of women who become involved in drug trafficking.
The Drug Control Police (Costa Rica’s Policía de Control de Drogas – PCD in Spanish) reported the arrest of two women found to be in possession of cocaine hydrochloride and byproducts. Both women were detained at ports of entry and exit; for this reason, PCD officers believe that international drug trafficking was a common factor in the two arrests.
According to an official press release issued by Fuerza Publica (Costa Rica’s national police force), PCD officers in Paso Canoas, a major crossing point in the southern border with Panama, arrested a 48-year old woman carrying 250 hits of crack and 114 bags of cocaine powder. The woman is a Panamanian national and a legal resident of Costa Rica. PCD officers apprehended the suspect as she was traveling in a vehicle along the border. Controlled substances tend to be a lot cheaper in Panama, which is a known origin point of drugs packaged for retail sales and street-level dealing in Costa Rica.
The other arrest reported by the PCD over the weekend took place at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), in the province of Alajuela. A 30-year old woman was detained as she intended to board a departing flight with Italy as her final destination. Alas, the Costa Rican national never made it past the passenger terminal: She was found to have swallowed 29 pellets of liquified cocaine.
Once in custody, the would-be international smuggler excreted the illicit cargo from her digestive system. PCD officers weighed nearly 698 grams of cocaine, which was promptly confiscated along with $947.
In August 2013, The Costa Rica Star reported on the sadness of a Mother’s Day spent behind bars at a prison where most of the women incarcerated are serving jail sentences for trafficking and other drug-related offenses:
As expected, the majority of people who are under the custody of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Justice are drug offenders. In fact, 135 women serving sentences at El Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd) in San Rafael of Desamparados are there because they tried to smuggle drugs into jail. According to online news daily CRHoy.com, 587 out of 839 female inmates at the Good Shepherd prison are drug offenders.
Article by Costa Rica Star. Reprinted with permission.