An underground network in Costa Rica apparently has been arranging marriages between single Costa Ricans in need of quick cash and foreigners seeking residency here.
The daily La Nación reported this week that an organization headed by a notary public in Heredia, north of San José, had been targeting women in the impoverished neighborhood of Guararí to sign marriage papers so that the foreigners become eligible for Costa Rican residency status.
La Nación spoke to at least six different women in Guararí who had signed marriage papers and were paid amounts from $40-100 to do so.
In one case, a 41-year-old Italian man living in Papagayo, Guanacaste, paid to marry a 21-year-old woman from Heredia. The two have never met, the woman told La Nación, adding that she is trying to get divorced.