Traffickers move over 900 tons of cocaine through Central America each year. So far in 2013, Costa Rican counter-drug units have confiscated 17.5 tons of the substance, giving them the highest seizure rate so far. In just one raid, they seized 1.2 tons on a boat off the coast of Limón.
Reports identify 80 percent of Costa Rica’s 4,500 arrests in the first nine months of 2013 were drug related. Authorities say the majority of arrests take place in cities like San José, Cartago, Limón, Heredia, and Alajuela. The other 20 percent are largely due to violations of firearms and explosives laws and thefts and robberies.
President Laura Chinchillas’s administration has seized more than 40 tons of cocaine, attributing the success to improvements in equipment and training of the Coast Guard, National Police, and Drug Control Police.