The numbers speak for themselves. In just 15 days, 42 homicides were added to the statistics of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), pushing the number of homicides for the year from 338 on August 26 to 380 on September 9.

Despite being alarming, authorities point out a decrease in the number of murders, 31 less than for the same period last year. However, the year-to-year decrease was 70 just two weeks ago.

The goal for this year is to keep the numbers below the 585 homicides in 2108.

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What is the cause of this wave of violence in the country?

The analyzes of the jOIJ etail that the problem of homicides “lies mainly in the expansion of the distribution and commercialization of the local drug traffic, known as narcomenudeo”.

“This causes a lot of addicts and violence is more intimidating to the effects and dependencies that drugs cause,” said the 2018 Situation Report prepared by the OIJ.

The report also highlights that the levels of violence in the country grew with multiple homicides, as well as with factors such as debts for money from drug transfers, drug losses and the rivalry between criminal groups.

“Since 2014 there has been an annual increase in the use of murder to resolve conflicts. In many of these killings, people are used to commit the crime and easily leave the scene,” says the report.

The cantons with the most homicides of 2019, according to OIJ figures:

  • Saint José (Costa Rica’s capital city)
  • Limon
  • Alajuela
  • Pococí (Limon)
  • Goicoechea (Greater Metropolitan Area)
  • Puntarenas (Pacific Coast)
  • San Carlos (Northern Zone)
  • La Union (Cartago)

On average, every 16 hours there is a murder in Costa Rica.