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U.S. donates crime-fighting tools to Costa Rica

July 23, 2013

The U.S. government announced Monday the donation of equipment and computer software to Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office to help modernize the country’s criminal justice system and take on the big fish of crime, including drug traffickers.

Costa Rica is battling sophisticated international crime syndicates that use the country as a transit point for South American drugs headed to the U.S., and as a money-laundering destination.

The donation is part of $20 million the U.S. government is providing to Central American countries through the Central America Regional Security Initiative, or CARSI.

Also, the U.S.-based Florida International University is aiding the Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office in designing, testing and implementing a new system to manage information to help improve the prosecution of international crime and drug trafficking.

The university will provide training and technical assistance to local prosecutors through the program, in areas such as cyber-crime, international crime syndicates and victims’ assistance programs.

“Investment in the latest technology equipment is fundamental to prosecute members of criminal groups, as those types of groups also have access to the most modern technology,” U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Eric Nelson said. “This new system will help prosecutors investigate cases and disband crime groups more efficiently.”

The U.S. donation includes 17 laptop and 19 desktop computers, 107 software licenses and two projectors, worth nearly $30,000.

“This donation is a display of the friendship and alliance between the governments of the United States and Costa Rica to develop strategies to neutralize new forms of crime,” Supreme Court Vice President José Manuel Arroyo said.

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