Thursday 17 June 2021

Street Racers in Costa Rica: Fast, Furious and Infiltrated

Street racers in Costa Rica, known as “picones” in the local slang vernacular, are staying one step ahead of the law with a tactic typically used by the police offers that attempt to put an end to their reckless driving. According to a recent article written by Roberto Portuguez for news daily La Prensa Libre, picones in Costa Rica have snitches planted inside law enforcement agencies.

illegal-street-racingWhile authorities are planning the road blocks, roving patrols and raids they will conduct to break up illegal drag races, speed demons are being notified of the plans and passing the word around. In some cases, officers on patrol will spend an entire night watching a known meeting point and not a single street racer will even bother to drive by.

Picones in Costa Rica are an organized bunch. They use radar detectors, two-way radios, smartphones and online social networking to communicate, organize their illegal races and evade the police. They feel the need for speed, but the cops assigned to the street racing beat feel the need to confiscate their vehicles. Anti-street racing operations are a multi-agency effort that usually involves members of the Transit Police and the Judicial Investigations Organization (OIJ), although support from Fuerza Publica -Costa Rica’s national police- is sometimes requested.

- Advertisement -

According to a Tico street racer that spoke to La Prensa Libre, some members of the police in Costa Rica are picones when they are off-duty, and they become willing “sapos” -literally “toads” but also slang for snitches. These sapos are both drivers and gearheads (auto technicians) who ostensibly have an arrangement with the street racing community: “I will be your informant, but don’t tell anyone I am a cop.”

10037260Some of the typical meeting points for street racers in Costa Rica include Curridabat in the eastern suburbs of San Jose, Caldera near Puntarenas, La Lima in Cartago, and Santa Ana to the west of the capital city. In some cases, police officers will monitor these sites and notice zero drag racing activity, only to turn to Facebook or Twitter and find that their operational planning is being leaked in real-time. Law enforcement in Costa Rica cannot allocate undercover resources in these street racing rings since these cases must meet the criteria of in flagrante delicto doctrine, which means that the crimes must happen spontaneously and in plain view in order to be brought to trial.

The contentious Transit Law in Costa Rica considers picones to be reckless drivers, and thus no tickets are issued when they are caught. Instead, they are cited to appear in court and their vehicles are impounded. The Director of Transit Police considers these snitches a blessing in disguise to an extent, since they accomplish the ultimate goal: They end up discouraging picones from participating in illegal drag races to begin with. The Director told La Prensa Libre:

“In the end, we don’t want to run into picones or book them. We just want then to respect the law and not get into illegal drag races. If they stop racing due to leaked information, then we are obtaining the desired effect.”


Article by Costa Rica Star

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Carter Maddox
Carter is self-described as thirty-three-and-a-half years old and his thirty-three-and-a-half years birthday is always on March 3. Carter characteristically avoids pronouns, referring to himself in the third person (e.g. "Carter has a question" rather than, "I have a question"). One day [in 1984], Carter, raised himself up and from that day forward we could all read what Carter writes.

Related Articles

[BLOG] Costa Rican Electric Company – General Maintenance Procedures

During my fifteen plus years of living in Costa Rica, I...

Heliport, Money and Weapons in Costa Rica

Following reports by residents of Las Asturias de Pococí about flyovers...


Lack of space on Racsa’s hard drive paralyzed immigration consultation at the airport this Monday

RICO's DIGEST - We've all had this happen, your computer's hard drive is full and your computer crashes. But we are not the Radiográfica...

Despite investigation, construction of road works by H. Solís will continue

QCOSTARICA - Five major road works under the responsibility of the H. Solís company will continue in development despite investigations for alleged corruption involving...

Ortega government accuses imprisoned opponents of receiving money from the United States to overthrow him

TODAY NICARAGUA – The Nicaraguan government assures that the imprisoned political opponents detained on charges of “inciting foreign intervention” are “usurpers” financed by the...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 14: 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 14, vehicles with plates ending 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Heavy downpours generated the first phreatic eruption of this year at the Turrialba volcano

QCOSTARICA - Several residents of La Pastora, La Central and Monte Calas, in the vicinity of the Turrialba volcano, heard a loud rumbling early...

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin ailments on the planet, with a record 60 million people being afflicted by...

Nicaragua government assures that detainees violated one of the Ten Commandments

TODAY NICARAGUA – The vice president of Nicaragua and First Lady, Rosario Murillo, assured that those who feel persecuted are for the crimes they...

Apple extended the life of its older iPhones

QTECH - Whether due to the global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic or due to shortages of electronic components, raw materials, factory...

Central America is back in the news for the wrong reasons, Costa Rica is once again the exception

QCOSTARICA - Osta Rica has been the epicenter of regional diplomacy in recent days. The successive visits of the Secretary of State of the...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.