In this three-part series, investigator Michael Porth examines the steps that Costa Rica, long one of the most peaceful countries in the region, is taking to combat organized crime.
A remote port along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has long seen shipments of bananas and pineapples conceal another product: cocaine. Now that the Moín port, near the town of Limón, has undergone a massive expansion that includes new scanning technology, will traffickers continue to use it to transit drugs?
Welcome to InSight Crime’s Criminal GameChangers 2018, where we highlight the most important trends in organized crime in the Americas over the course of the year. From a rise in illicit drug availability and resurgence of monolithic criminal groups to the weakening of anti-corruption efforts and a swell in militarized responses to crime, 2018 was a year in which political issues were still often framed as left or right, but the only ideology that mattered was organized crime.
Costa Rica has been a beacon of peace in a conflict- and crime-ridden region since the abolition of its armed forces in 1948, yet a rise in violent crime in recent years has pressured the government to develop innovative and effective security strategies in order to retain the country’s peaceful image.