Investigation and Analysis of Organized Crime
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Costa Rica

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Human Smuggling Thrives Between Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Recent interceptions linked to the illicit smuggling of migrants at Nicaragua’s border with Costa Rica have illustrated the extent to which clandestine groups and...
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Why Courtroom Corruption Has Costa Rica Concerned

A string of recent arrests connecting judicial officials to drug trafficking organizations in Costa Rica have raised concerns that institutional corruption...
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GameChangers 2020: The Resurgence of the Central American Cocaine Highway

A rush of drug plane traffic from South America, coupled with traffickers smuggling large cocaine shipments after coronavirus border restrictions eased, led to a...
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Demand for Illegal Alcohol Claiming Hundreds of Lives Across Region

A sizeable seizure of adulterated rum shipped to Honduras from Europe reveals the extent to which black markets for alcohol in Latin America have expanded in...
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Fake Turtle Eggs With GPS Trackers Seek Rollout Across Latin America

An experiment to track poached turtle eggs through the use of synthetic eggs equipped with GPS trackers in Costa Rica has offered a seductive new approach to...
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Salvatore Ponzo and the Italian Mafia’s Infiltration of Costa Rica

The photos in the Costa Rican press showed Salvatore Ponzo, the Italian fruit exporter, with a neatly trimmed beard and polite smile, wearing polo shirts and...
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Costa Rica Passes Law to Destroy Illegal Runways on Private Property

A new law in Costa Rica, that looks to destroy illegal landingstrips, could provide an opportunity to control flights and close the country’s airways for drug...
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Costa Rica Boosts Plan to Track Vessels, Combat Illegal Fishing

By providing satellite data on its fleets, Costa Rica is the latest country in Latin America to take on illegal fishing, which costs...
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Sophisticated Schemes Revealed in Costa Rica Gold Ring

Raids across Costa Rica have exposed a web of front companies filtering illegally mined gold to the United States, in the kind of multimillion-dollar laundering...
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Human Smugglers Could Benefit From Costa Rica-Nicaragua Silence

Costa Rica has enhanced border security during the coronavirus pandemic to crack down on human smuggling from Nicaragua, but its measures are undermined by a lack...
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Port of Limón Has Become Costa Rica’s Drug Trafficking Epicenter

At daybreak on January 1, 2020, five men were shot from a car with a machine gun mounted on it outside a church in Cieneguita, a small town located on the outskirts...
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Latin America Under Threat of Cybercrime Amid Coronavirus

Online scams, ransomware attacks and phishing email schemes have proliferated in Latin America amid the coronavirus pandemic, exposing the dangers hackers pose to...