No menu items!


HomeTopicsCrimeOfficer Assaulted with Machete in Costa Rican Smuggling Bust

Officer Assaulted with Machete in Costa Rican Smuggling Bust

A high-speed car chase of suspected human smugglers ended in violence early Tuesday morning after the wife of the driver attacked police officers with a machete.

The incident unfolded during a routine patrol by Costa Rican border police in the small northern town of Los Chiles, located near the Nicaraguan border. Officers spotted a suspicious vehicle with five passengers and moved to intervene.

“The driver, 33-year-old Juan Carlos Montiel, defied police orders to stop and sped off, initiating an 8-kilometer chase toward the town center,” said Commissioner Juan Alvarado, head of the police unit.

Montiel eventually pulled into his own driveway, attempting to barricade himself inside his home. His wife, 25-year-old Carla Poveda, emerged wielding a machete and assaulted the pursuing officers.

“Poveda landed blows to one officer’s hand and arm, causing a deep laceration,” Alvarado said. The agent was transported to a nearby clinic for treatment.

After securing an arrest warrant, police negotiated Montiel’s peaceful surrender two hours later. He was transported to the San Carlos prosecutor’s office on charges of human smuggling.

Costa Rica’s migration law stipulates two to six years imprisonment for smuggling offenses. While Poveda currently faces no charges, the assault has been reported to the prosecutor’s office in Los Chiles.

The vehicle’s five passengers, all Nicaraguan nationals in irregular migration statuses, provided witness statements before being handed over to immigration authorities for repatriation.

Border towns like Los Chiles have seen a surge in human smuggling in recent years as Nicaraguan migrants flee political unrest. Costa Rica registered over 100,000 asylum applications from Nicaraguans in 2018-2019.

“These criminal networks put profit over human life,” Alvarado said. “We will keep targeting them to combat this exploitation.” Tuesday’s violence illustrates rising risks for border police contending with the complex regional migration crisis.

Weekly Recap

Costa Rica Coffee Maker Chorreador
Costa Rica Coffee Maker Chorreador
Costa Rica Travel Insurance

Latest Articles