QCOSTARICA – Once again police had to be called into to control a shooting between rival gangs, this around 12:30pm Wednesday, in the area of Lomas del Rio, in Pavas.
The Grupo de Apoyo Operacional (GAO) and Unidad de Intervención Policial (UIP), two specialized units of the Fuerza Publica (police) were called in when apparently, a newly formed police unit to combat drug dealing, called Fuerza Especial Operativa, was doing a spot check in Lomas del Rio.
Officials at the Fuerza Publica said the unit was following a vehicle with several known criminals, at one point they get out of the vehicle, ran into a house, then came out shooting at police. There was an exchange of fire.
Arrested are four men, all with lengthy criminal records involving illegal drugs and crimes against property. The four were identified by their last names, Duncan, Hernández, Membreño and Hernández.
On Monday, October 12, also in Pavas another shootout took place, in that case police say was motivated by a dispute between rival drug trafficking gangs in the area known as La Piedra del Indio.
In Pavas, on June 5, a 70 year-old man died at front of his home after being hit by a stray bullet during a shootout.
Shootouts between rival gangs and with police and killings have become common in the last several months as authorities attempt to control the growing problem.
Following are only a few of the stories making the headlines this month alone.
This morning, shortly after 5:00am, in an unrelated incident to the Pavas shootout, a man was gunned down in Giocoechea after leaving a halfway house. The 34 year-old man identified by his last name Villalta, had recently been released from jail to halfway house to serve out the remainder of his 4 years and six months conviction for aggravated robbery.
On October 7, a lawyer, who had just come from a prison visit, was shot in broad daylight in a taxi on the Cricunvalacion.
Two days before, two suspected hitmen are gunned down in Santa Ana. Police theorize the killings were related to a murder in Santa Ana days earliers.
On October 9, in what appears to be a scene out of the movies, several men opened fire with large calibre weapons on a taxi, killing one of the occupants and wounding two, all part of 9 homicides that weekend alone.