Newspaper Confidencial recently interviewed Costa Rica’s former President Laura Chinchilla. The former head of state discussed the country’s security issues and the actions taken by the Chaves Robles administration.
“When we analyze, for example, the allocation of resources to public security, the recruitment of police personnel, the allocation of resources to judicial institutions – especially the Public Prosecutor’s Office – and the investigative police, we see that resources have been decreasing,” Chinchilla said during the interview.
Costa Rica’s projections aren’t optimistic, as authorities expect the year to finish with at least 900 murders.
“By the end of this year, we will have seen a terrible increase of almost 40% in the number of violent deaths. This will potentially take us from 12 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, which was already high for Costa Rica, to almost 17 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants,” the former President explained.
Another worrying factor, as explained by Laura Chinchilla, is the way these murders are taking place. She pointed out that now people are being killed in places such as soccer fields, near schools or hospitals, or on any street at any given point of the day. This has further alarmed Costa Ricans who had never seen such atrocities committed in their home country.
Ex-President Chinchilla also spoke about another crucial point: the collateral damage. These gruesome murders are also taking the lives of innocent victims.
“Criminal gangs are extending their territorial control, and, by the time we realize it, they’re already fighting for control of distribution around schools, or gang members are in discos or restaurants where [their enemies] then go to kill them,” Chinchilla pointed out.
She was also extremely critical of the current President and believes the government hasn’t given an adequate response to this problem.
“The Costa Rican government lowered its guard, and organized crime is clearly looking for opportunities to move in at a time when our region is becoming an exporting power of cocaine, opium, and fentanyl. Pressure and threats are increasing in our countries, and now Costa Rica is experiencing them with severity,” she added.
According to the politician, there’s no clear route or policy to effectively tackle drug trafficking. She even bashed Chaves for putting on a “staged, premeditated show to blame the legislature for what is going on,” right after announcing the National Security Policy.