Saturday 18 September 2021

[OP-ED] “Who me?” Says Costa Rica

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If there is any doubt that Costa Ricans are up to their pura vida eyeballs in international drug trafficking and in specific the Sinaloa cartel, that misconception needs to be laid to rest.

Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman

Certainly most of the western hemisphere is giddy that once gain, after escaping from prison in a laundry basket the first time, Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman is back behind bars. He is the patriarch of the Sinaloa cartel and leaves in his wake an highly organized, well trained, unexcitable group not to mention infrastructure that the Costa Rican government can just dream about.

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So far, the only named Tico who has also been arrested as a Guzman man, not in Costa Rica but rather in Guatemala, is Alejandro Jimenez, aka Paliedejo.

Does that bring down the cartel of cartels? Hell no!

According to a number of sources including La Nación and the Tico Times, Costa Rica has been aware that Guzman has been running his transport business out of our little piece of paradise since the late 1990s and as a drug-stop-off-warehouse from at least 2007. Anyone who believes or is willing to believe that the Sinaloa cartel used only those horrible foreign people to do their will has got to put down the bottle of Cacique and sober up real quick.

Innocent Costa Rica can and does often times put on a, “Who me,” face that is marketed by a sleepy sloth and more lately zinging zip lines gracefully cruising over precious tree tops. It is a show folks, a grand show like Disneyland.

Below those massive green tree tops are hoards of warehouses, helicopter pads, four wheel drive vehicles, military type weaponry and lots of, I mean lots of drugs heading north with the assistance of Costa Ricans who might not be on top of the drug lord totem pole but are critical to the drug trafficking process itsel. What’s more, if we dig just below the service we are bound to find politicians, municipal officials, judges, police, transit cops and even our own members of the OIJ (FBI) up to their gun holsters in graft, corruption and most likely violent crime as well as murder.

Which presidential candidate will have the b#@@s to even start to clean this up? I doubt if either one of them can no matter how hard they try. It has gone too far and become too lucrative. The result of Guzman’s arrest is sure to be the mutation of neighborhood gangs into full blown national threats to peace as in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

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So far Costa Rica has been left alone to its own, more passive version of complicity and drug dealing. But much like Iraq became chaotic and villainous without the Godfather Sadam, absent of a dominant leader who will control; drug trafficking and the criminal rights of traffickers in Costa Rica is sure to become an evil issue in the months to come.

Guzman needed or perhaps still needs Costa Rica to store and transport by land, sea and air his billions of dollars worth of narcotics. On the surface we are a peaceful nation more concerned about the economic Chinese take over that the in-house cartel conspirators. Yet, bellow many of those massive tree tops which tourists laughingly glide over is crime, heavy duty international crime that ends up in Zapote, under government supervision.

“Who Me? I was in Switzerland during the war.”

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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