Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Is a drug gang controlling an indigenous village in Costa Rica?

August 14, 2012

Drug traffickers are preventing teachers from entering a region in indigenous territory in Costa Rica in order to encourage children to cultivate marijuana, the Education Ministry said Monday.

In the village of Alto Telire in the Talamanca canton, on the Caribbean coast, some 300 Cabécar children are not attending school. Eight teachers chosen to teach in the village are having difficulty entering Alto Telire, and now fear their lives are in danger due to a local drug gang, according to the daily La Nación.

The teachers only have been allowed to enter the village twice this year. After one trip, one of two school buildings was burned down.

The Education Ministry believes support from other ministers is necessary to take back control of the village. It already is a difficult place to send teachers since it requires a three-day walk to arrive there.

Guillermo Rodríguez, an education planner for indigenous communities, said that the situation is severe enough that residents could become dependent on drug traffickers for food.

“[Local residents] are forced to work in drug trafficking. The problem is that the government has lost sovereignty, and it must be recovered,” Rodríguez told La Nación.

One of the teachers said the drug gang does whatever it wants in the village. Another added that few local residents speak Spanish. Most speak an indigenous language also called Cabécar. The teacher believes that the few residents who speak Spanish could be contacts for the drug traffickers.

Mario Mora, vice minister of planning for the Education Ministry, said the ministry is considering moving the children out of the territory to receive classes in a different indigenous region.

You may be interested

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 29
Costa Rica
5574 views
Costa Rica
5574 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 29

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 29, 2020

Costa Rica announced 19 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 880, according to official data…

Costa Rica says coronavirus measures continue in October
Costa Rica
21083 views
Costa Rica
21083 views

Costa Rica says coronavirus measures continue in October

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 29, 2020

President Carlos Alvarado and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Tuesday  announced Costa Rica's coronavirus measures will continue in October. The…

These are the requirements to enter Costa Rica as a tourist
Costa Rica
2334 views
Costa Rica
2334 views

These are the requirements to enter Costa Rica as a tourist

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 29, 2020

Costa Rica is currently welcoming tourists from select countries and U.S. states. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Costa Rica has…