Costa Rica AG Says Mexico Cartels are Recruiting, Training Local Groups

2/13/2017 InSight Crime

mexican drugsCosta Rica’s Attorney General said local criminal groups are being recruited and trained by Mexican drug cartels, further indication of the evolving relationship between drug trafficking networks in these two countries.

In an interview with El Universal, Costa Rican Attorney General Jorge Chavarría said that the cartels are recruiting local criminals and bringing them to Mexico, where they are taught cartel strategies in order to apply them back home.

While Chavarría did not specify which cartels are doing the recruiting, anti-drug authorities have confirmed that the Sinaloa Cartel and the Zetas are the most active drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in Central America, according to El Universal. The Familia Michoacana and the Gulf Cartel also reportedly maintain a presence in the region.

Chavarría credited Costa Rica’s rising homicide rate to the Mexicanization of Costa Rica’s criminal groups.

“We have an increase in violence because local drug trafficking organizations are applying the Mexican strategy of controlling territory,” he said.

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