Colombia

Costa Rica Cocaine Another Boat Stopped in Costa Rican Waters Carrying Almost a Ton of Cocaine

Coordinated operations by the Costa Rica Coast Guard Service, the Aerial Surveillance Service and the Drug Control Police resulted in another hit to drug traffickers in waters of the South Pacific. A Costa Rican fishing boat was stopped carrying an important load of cocaine, an amount not yet quantified but estimated in close to one ton; the packets were hidden under a lot of ice in the storag...

Costa Rica Drug Trafficking Has Costa Rica Become a Hub for Drug Cartels?

In June, 2017, the former head of the Costa Rica Public Force (Fuerza Publica) was arrested for traveling in a false-bottom truck with 237 kilograms of cocaine – probably destined for the USA via Mexico.  In October, between 800-1,000 kilos of cocaine were found floating near Golfo Dulce. Last week, 785 kilos of cocaine were seized by authorities near Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia. Last Friday ...

Costa Rica Drug Trafficking Cocaine Enters Costa Rica through Limon and is Carried in Cement Trucks Reveals Investigative TV Show

Testigo Directo (Direct Witness) is a Colombian TV show that presents independent investigative journalism on different sensitive topics, one of their series “El ventilador de los narcos” presents detailed information on the drug trafficking business in Colombia and even interviews with former members of cartels that explain in detail how the operations work. The show is presented by Rafael Poveda...

Tamarindo, Costa Rica to Host Beach Volleyball Championship

The second beach volleyball open tournament will take place in Tamarindo, Guanacaste on Saturday, September 16. The Costa Rican national team will face off against competitors from the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The format is two-on-two, and promises to be a thrilling event with very strong athletes competing, according to Ivannia Ramirez, event organizer. Also on S...

Colombian Ship Bound for Holland Detained in Costa Rica With 50K of Cocaine

So far this year, Costa Rica's police forces have captured over 17.5 tons of cocaine, both in land and sea operations, informed the Public Security Ministry in the wake of an incident at the Moín, Limón port on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. On Thursday August 17, drug control police detained and inspected a ship where they discovered 50 kilos of cocaine attached to its hull, said the ministry. ...

Costa Rica Pura Vida Costa Rica Seeks to Export Pastas, Sauces, Cookies and More to Colombia

Costa Rican producers and exporters are in Colombia this month for a round of visits and talks to search out new markets for their products, reported the Costa Rican foreign trade promotion agency, Procomer. A recent market study conducted by Procomer, "Colombia: analysis for the marketing of pastas, snacks, cookies, and sauces," has been a tool for businesses in Costa Rica over the past year t...

Costa Rica Ocean Conservation Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador Join Efforts Towards Ocean Protection

The First Encounter of World Marine Heritage Sites of the East Pacific took place from Wednesday to Friday this week in the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica. Representatives from the different Marine World Heritage Sites gathered in the country in the event organized by the Pacifico Foundation, the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the UNESCO field office in Costa Rica in respons...

Over 1T of Cocaine at Costa Rica’s Pacific Port Is First for Caldera

Costa Rican authorities yesterday reported the discovery at the Pacific port of Caldera of 1.3 tons of cocaine in a container hailing from Buenaventura, Colombia. Costa Rican security minister Gustavo Mata said Monday at a press conference that the seizure occurred on Sunday during a routine container inspection, and that it is the first time that drug has been found at the Caldera port in the ...

Panama’s New Migratory Controls May Help Costa Rica’s Border Woes

The Government of Panama announced Friday it will reduce the stay in the country for Nicaraguan, Colombian and Venezuelan tourists from 180 to 90 days as part of a policy of tightening controls over foreigner visitors. This, and other controls by Panama, may lessen some of the flow of undocumented migrants into Costa Rica over its southern border. The Panamanian migration service has detected f...

Costa Rica Tightens Measures Against Foreigners With Criminal Records

Costa Rican authorities announced they would reinforce security, including streamlining procedures to expel foreigners linked to criminal activities, following a series of recent crimes that have shocked the country. "Acts of violence in recent days have raised a justified alarm in the population and motivated new calls for attention to all authorities to intensify the fight against drug traffi...

Tamarindo, Costa Rica is Site of Police Action on Human Trafficking

After midnight Saturday, a "Breaking Chains" police operation took place in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, a popular surf town on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. The plan - called ROCA in Spanish - is a targeted attempt to rescue victims of human trafficking and is led by Costa Rica's Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ). ROCA is an inter-institutional effort which also involves Interpol police, and a ho...

International Drug Ring Broken Up by Costa Rican and Colombian Police

Today Costa Rican Security Minister Gustavo Mata Vega gave highlights of one of the biggest break ups of a drug ring to date in Costa Rica. With today’s 12 arrests - 10 in Costa Rica and two in Colombia - a total of 38 people have been caught in connection with a Costa Rican-Colombian drug trafficking ring after a 2-year investigation, said the ministry press office. Costa Rica’s Drug Contro...

Spanish Police Arrest 39, Including 2 Costa Ricans, in Intl Child Porn Sharing Network

Spanish national police dismantled the largest international child pornography distribution network to date though pioneering research examining instant messaging groups and WhatsApp messages. The operation monitored 135 users in 18 countries in Europe, Central America and South America who participated in some 96 online pedophile groups. A total of 39 people have been arrested: 17 of them i...

Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico Join to Strengthen Restorative Justice

A regional proposal by the Costa Rican Judiciary’s Restorative Justice Program was chosen from more than eighty projects submitted to an international competition organized by the European Union. The program proposes a regional approach to restorative justice, and will receive support from the European Union for its implementation, said European Union Ambassador Pelayo Castro Zuzuarregui. Costa...

Germany’s Lessons From the Past Applied to Colombia’s Peace Process

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s outgoing Foreign Minister, dedicated his last official visit to Colombia this month to launch the Colombo-German Institute for Peace, or Capaz, its acronym in Spanish. Colombia’s daily El Espectador interviewed Steinmeier about this institute dedicated to teaching, research and consulting on the important peace process underway in Colombia. Following is an edi...

Two Foreigners Detained on Drug-Studded Beach in Southern Costa Rica

By Wendy Anders Amid the lush forests and remote beaches of Corcovado National Park, southern Costa Rica’s biodiversity hotspot, Costa Rican police often find themselves on the front line of the illicit drug trade between South and North America. Early yesterday morning, Costa Rican police patrolling the stunning southern Pacific coast located eleven rectangular packages wrapped in a sack-li...

Hawksbill Sea Turtle Costa Rica Costa Rican Nonprofit Spearheads Open-Sea Conservation Treaty

By Wendy Anders Representatives from nine South American countries met this month to discuss the conservation of marine biodiversity in the open ocean, said the Costa Rican non-profit marine conservation group MarViva Foundation. Almost half the planet is covered by the high, or open seas, the waters found beyond countries’ territorial limits. Despite their abundance, these vast areas hav...

Colombia’s War Traumas Leave Deep Mental Scars

January 2: Colombian rebels may be preparing to lay down their guns, but the nation faces a deeper challenge to heal itself: treating mental illnesses stemming from the trauma of a half-century war. The 260,000 people killed and 60,000 missing in the civil conflict are quantified in official statistics—but uncounted millions still suffer the psychological scars. Maria—a pseudonym which the w...

Possible Life Imprisonment for 15 Caught in Australia Cocaine Bust

Bangkok Desk, Dec. 29 — Fifteen people have been detained in Australia in connection with the seizure of 1.1 tons of cocaine in an international operation against a drug smuggling ring, police officials said Thursday. A total of 500 kilograms were seized on Dec. 25 in the southern Australian state of New South Wales, and over 600 kilograms bound for Australia were intercepted in March in Tahiti, ...

Cacao pods Colombian “Drug Triangle” Transforms Into the “Cacao Triangle”

Guerima, Colombia, Dec. 17 — The "drug triangle," formed by the Colombian villages of Guerima, Chupave and Puerto Principe, was famous for its coca leaf production under drug lord Carlos Lehder and later under the FARC. A rural peasant, photo for illustrative purposes. Now, as peace becomes a reality, people here are trying to replace that tarnished past with perfectly legal cacao crops. G...

Costa Rica Returns Assets of Disbanded Colombian Rebel Group

By Wendy Anders Costa Rican authorities seized US$480,000 as part of an international effort to local and repatriate assets of the now-disbanded Colombian rebel group, FARC. The Costa Rican Supreme Court of Justice last week turned over the assets of the guerrilla group to the Colombian Attorney General's Office, reported Bogotá, Colombia’s daily El Espectador newspaper. This was the firs...

Medical Marijuana Patients Push for Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Costa Rica

By Wendy Anders Close up of a Marijuana plant flowering during the final stages of growth. EFE/file On Tuesday, Colombia legalized medical marijuana through a decree signed by President Juan Manuel Santos, which regulates the cultivation, processing, import and export of cannabis and its derivatives for therapeutic purposes. Colombia thus joins  Mexico, 23 states in the U.S., and Uruguay, w...

Shakira: “Being a Mother is the Most Difficult Task in My Life”

Sao Paulo, Dec. 6 — Colombian singer Shakira said here Tuesday that the task of being a mother has been the most difficult one in her life, admitting that combining motherhood with her professional career is a "daily challenge." Shakira with her eldest son in early 2015, source Facebook. "I don't know how I do it. I imagine that, like all women in the world, we're crazy. It's a daily challe...

Costa Rica Low Cost Airlines Wingo Air’s First Panama-Costa Rica Flight Arrives this Morning

By Wendy Anders This morning, Colombia's low-budget regional Wingo airline joins a growing number of regional flight options available out of Costa Rica when it touches down for the first time in the country with passengers from Panama. After an inaugural celebration at the Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, roughly 15 miles west of San José, passengers will then board for a flight t...

Costa Rica Orlando Costa Rica Avianca cancels flights to and from Venezuela after incident with military plane

Avianca airlines announced today the cancellation of all flights to and from Venezuela, after a Venezuelan military plane harassed one of their planes. (EFE).- Colombia's Foreign Ministry on Saturday was asked to demand an explanation from Venezuela for an incident in which a military plane allegedly harassed an Avianca passenger jet while it was in the neighboring country's airspace. Colom...

Santos Dedicates Nobel Peace Prize to All Colombians

Bogota, Oct. 7 — Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Friday he was receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in the name of all Colombians and particularly the millions of victims of the decades-long armed conflict. "Colombians, this prize is for you. It's for the victims, so there won't be one more death" from the armed conflict, Santos said in a brief statement, accompanied by his wife, Maria C...

‘No’ Squeaks By With a Win in Colombia Peace Referendum

COLOMBIA PEACE VOTE  Bogota, Oct. 2 — The president of Colombia late Sunday recognized the victory of the "No" side in the referendum on the peace agreement signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and said this result would open a new political reality which could be an opportunity for the country. Juan Manuel Santos, who had promoted the "yes" campaign, ordered governme...

Colombia, 2nd Most Heavily Mined Country, Gets Aid to Remove Them

New York, Sept. 18 - Countries throughout the world, led by the United States and Norway, committed themselves on Sunday to supporting efforts to remove landmines in Colombia with an eye toward ridding that country of the weapons by 2021. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at the start of a meeting on the issue held in a New York hotel that removing the landmines is an "essential" part of ...

6.1 Earthquake in Colombia, No Damages Reported

Bogotá, Sept. 14 - At close to 9:00 pm last night in the northwest Colombian state of Antioquia, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck, reported the Spanish news agency EFE. No damages or casualties were reported in Antioquia’s populous capital city of Medellín nor in areas near the epicenter, according to Colombia’s Administrative Department of Disaster Risk Management (DAGRD in Spanish). T...

Cocaine-Stuffed Pickup Seized Near Costa Rica’s Multiplaza Escazú

By Wendy Anders Last night at 7:00 pm, during a routine police stop on Route 27 near the exit for Multiplaza Escazú, police detained a white cargo pick-up truck driven by a 29-year-old Colombian national by the last name Betancourt, stated the Security Ministry in a press release this afternoon. Police flagged the pick-up truck when they noticed the driver seemed nervous as he approached the...

Indigenous Colombians Unsure About Guerrilla Peace Deal

FARC guerrilla unit marching in 1998. Wikimedia Commons By Christian Escobar Mora for Agencia EFE Tacueyo is among the villages most affected by the armed conflict between the FARC and the government, so its indigenous inhabitants are enthusiastic about the new cease-fire but at the same time believe that not all the members of that guerrilla group will obey the orders of their leaders. ...

Breaking: Colombian Govt and FACR Rebels Reach Historic Agreement

By Wendy Anders This afternoon, the Washington Post reported from Havana, Cuba that an agreement was reached by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leftist rebel group to end the continent’s longest conflict after after 52 years of fighting. After nearly four years of negotiations and a ceasefire announced in June, “'We have finished fighting with w...

Colombia Guerrilla Conflict: More Than 8 Million Victims

FARC guerrilla unit marching in 1998. Wikimedia Commons The names of the more than 8 million victims of Colombia's decades-long armed conflict will be inscribed on trees in an expanse of the southeastern province of Vaupes to be known as the "Forest of Peace. Supported by the Colombian government, the Forest is an initiative of the NGO Saving the Amazon. The group began planning the proj...

Venezuela Opens Borders; Thousands Cross Into Colombia to Get Food

Supporters of President Maduro rally in Caracas EFE/AGENCIA VENEZOLANA DE NOTICIAS/ Some 25,000 Venezuelans, according to official estimates, crossed the border into Colombia on Sunday to buy food and medicines in the city of Cucuta after the Venezuelan government said it would open border crossings for 12 hours. People began crossing the Simon Bolivar international bridge, which links the ...

Massive Child Porn Ring Dismantled With International Arrests

Flickr Commons Police around the globe arrested 79 suspected members of an international child pornography network on Monday. The arrests were made in 18 different countries, including the United States, Spain, and several Latin American countries, following 200 raids in 47 cities as part of Operation No Borders. At least 19 of the arrests were made in Spain, primarily in Madrid. Span...

Former President of Colombia Rejects Guerrilla Peace Treaty

FARC guerrilla unit marching in 1998. Wikimedia Commons Medellin, Colombia, Jun 4 (EFE).- Colombia's hardline ex-president, Alvaro Uribe, launched a nationwide signature-gathering campaign here Saturday against the peace agreements reached by the current government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which he says entail impunity for the guerrillas. Under the initiative...

Colombia makes biggest drug bust in country’s history

(Photo: EFE via El Mundo) Colombian police Sunday said they had seized eight tons of cocaine from the country’s most active criminal syndicate, the Usuga clan. In a statement, police said they found the drugs hidden on a banana plantation near the border with Panama, in Colombia’s northwest Uraba region. "The biggest seizure of drugs in history. A hit against criminals," Colombian Presid...

Thousands Displaced by Violent Guerrilla Conflict in Colombia

FARC guerrilla unit marching in 1998. Wikimedia Commons Geneva, May 13 (EFE).- The UN Refugee Agency, or ACNUR, reported Friday that more than 6,000 people have fled their homes and another 7,000 are trapped by armed clashes in the Colombian region of Choco, one of the most violent in the country. The battles, according to UNHCR, are between illegal armed groups seeking control of this terr...

Spain suggests leaving shipwreck with billions of dollars in gold and silver on Colombian seafloor

(YouTube / ODN) Spain’s Minister of Justice, Rafael Catala on Monday proposed leaving some US $4 billion to $17 billion worth of gold and silver on the seafloor off the coast of Colombia in order to avoid conflict over its ownership. The treasure is the cargo of the legendary galleon San Jose, a Spanish ship that was sunk in 1708 near the coast of Cartagena of the Indies, which was discover...

33 Lions Rescued During Circus Raids in Colombia and Peru

Source: Animal Defenders International Lima, Apr 30 (EFE).- A group of more than 30 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia have departed this capital for a natural sanctuary in South Africa, an operation known as "Spirit of Freedom" that was organized by the British-based non-governmental organization Animal Defenders International. "Simba is sleeping. The 'Spirit of Freedom' has ...