06/01/11— Drug trafficking cartels based in Mexico and Colombia are now fighting for control of routes in Costa Rica as a means to transport drugs into the United States and Europe. Mario Zamora, Costa Rican Ministry of Security, explained that authorities have detected the activity of numerous groups within the area and that it is clear from the increase of homicides that there is a dispute over the land between such organizations. While stating that there are numerous organization involved, the Ministry of Security refused to reveal just how many groups exist, but noted that traditionally Colombian cartels have dominated in the country. However, Mexican organized crime groups, like the Sinaloa cartel, have recently grown in influence in Costa Rica.
The increase in the amount of violence in Central America is pushing the region to ask for international support to target drug trafficking and related violence, stated Zamora. He also noted that the biggest problem facing Costa Rican authorities is the ever-changing routes and methods of operation that the cartels utilize. One step Costa Rican authorities plan to take to try to crack down on drug trafficking is to use more sophisticated technology, like the upcoming installation of more high powered scanning systems to monitor each shipment and export out of Costa Rica, especially those to Europe. An upcoming international conference in July to be held in Guatemala will also focus on the creation of a regional security plan, reports Univision, which some are estimating at costing $900 million.