Q COSTA RICA – In a few days, as Costa Rica exceeds the 500 homicides barrier for the year, and Mario Zamora, the Ministro de Seguridad Publica (MSP) – Minister of Security, warns that “Sicariato is a cancer that can have serious consequences in Costa Rica”.
Thus, the country cannot save on resources in any way as the country is at a turning point to stop this phenomenon.
According to Zamora, homicide in Costa Rica has become a business professionalized (sicariato) with an obvious military training of Mexicans and Colombians who are teaching Ticos (Costa Ricans) how to kill and go unpunished.
Safe houses, training farms and tactics to shoot in motion are some of the teachings the sicarios (hitmen) are trained for, becoming a phenomenon executed by “trained professionals”.
If the trend continues, and right now there is no evidence that it will slow down. On Friday of last week, the official count is 487 murders, a number that is projected to reach more than 900 cases by the end of the year. That is 30% more than the official 656 murders in 2022.
Often, the work of crime investigators is judged based on the clues left behind at the crime scene. It has been observed that a considerable amount of homicides have very little evidence. These criminals have knowledge of the scene, have access to information, pick locations with few witnesses, plan so that they are not seen, make sure there are no cameras and act in a fast and precise manner.
Costa Rica is currently experiencing criminal activity from transnational groups, in which an external factor contributes to the progression. This often involves new recruits from areas with limited employment or conflict, and is usually led by Colombians and Mexicans, who pass on their knowledge of military tactics.
In an interview with La Republica, Minister Zamora explained that there are indications of professionalization in criminal activity.
He cited the use of safe houses, where criminals hide in order to evade police operations, and pre-established escape routes that allow them to flee quickly when police operations end.
Additionally, Minister Zamora mentioned that there are reports of Ticol hitmen teaching others how to commit illicit activities on farms in Limón, including how to shoot in motion from a motorcycle and other techniques.
How to stop this?
“We have undertaken a range of activities simultaneously, such as imposing weapons level restrictions which have prevented around 70 people from entering the country since May 10; apprehending some of the most violent criminals in Limón as well as implementing intelligence measures to hamper the capability of these organized groups,” said Zamora.