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‘The Beast’: Costa Rica’s new crime-fighting machine

August 2, 2015

The Judicial Investigation Police’s Special Tactical Response Unit (SERT) has a new weapon, and its nickname is “The Beast,” or “La Bestia,” in Spanish.

The fully armored Beast will be used for special police operations, raids, emergency prisoner response activity and other dangerous situations.

SERT is an elite, highly trained police unit currently with 25 agents. They carry out up to 12 raids each month in dangerous situations and locations, where they sometimes draw gunfire from the bad guys.

With the acquisition, Costa Rica joins other police forces in Central America, Mexico and the United States that already have similar vehicles to protect law enforcement agents from high-powered weaponry, including AK-47s, which police say now are being used in Costa Rica.

The Beast, currently being modified for local use in the land of pura vida, will make its debut in the next few weeks, law enforcement officials say.

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