The United States Treasury Department has issued a warning, asserting that the Moín Container Terminal stands as the primary hub for cocaine trafficking in Costa Rica, ranking among the largest in Central America.
This statement was delivered from Washington, D.C., alongside the announcement of sanctions against Gilberth Bell Fernández, known as Macho Coca, recognized by U.S. authorities as a significant figure in Costa Rican drug trafficking.
The communication underlines that Limón is home to the Moín Container Terminal, the largest center for cocaine trafficking in Costa Rica and one of the region’s largest.
Furthermore, it draws attention to the fact that 90% of homicides in the Caribbean province are intricately linked to violence stemming from conflicts between organized crime groups. In 2022, there were 657 homicides recorded in the country, a quarter of which occurred in the province of Limón.
According to the Minister of Security, Mario Zamora, all the information presented earlier is based on past events that had an impact on the current government.
Moreover, he believes that there would be damage to the country’s image only if nothing were being done to address the issue.
“It does not refer to new facts but to past events. All the actions taken by the United States government are in response to events that Costa Rica has been tolerating, and today, they explode in our faces,” said the official.
“What would affect us is if we were not correcting it. Today, we are sending the message of correction, and that allowed the President not only to be invited by the United States but also to be received at the White House, precisely because of the significant efforts we are making in terms of security,” Zamora added.
The U.S. communication dated November 15 arrives four months after the implementation of scanners at APM Terminals through “Operation Sovereignty,” defended by the government as a plan to completely eliminate drug shipments to Europe.
However, there have been leaks, such as the one reported by the National Police of Spain at the end of October, detailing the seizure of 720 kilograms of cocaine in a container with scrap metal from Costa Rica.
Additionally, the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands detected a shipment of 494 kilograms of cocaine in 1,950 packages.
This information was published on the social media accounts of the Public Ministry of the Dutch city at the end of August. The Ministry of Security stated weeks later that they would initiate an investigation once they received official information.
On the flip side, they highlight seizures like the one last Friday, where 120 kilograms of cocaine were found hidden under a bunk bed in a truck attempting to enter APM Terminals.
They also reported the seizure of two tons of cocaine off the coast of Limón on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Public Security detailed that the crew abandoned the ship and ventured into the mountains but were detained by officers of the Public Force.