(Then24.com).-At least 15 professions were identified as unions that work against the corruption in Costa Ricaaccording to the US Department of State, including that of the media.
Despite the fact that this country recognizes that progress has been made to attack this scourge, the North Americans point out that this continues to be a widespread problem.
The details were included in the 2023 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) that the president of that North American nation had to send to Congress in March of each year.
The document reveals that Costa Rica, as government policy, does not encourage or facilitate the sale of illicit drugs, production or distribution, nor is it involved in the laundering of proceeds from the sale of drugshowever, points out that several labor unions have lent themselves to the commission of this crime.
“As a recent signatory to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Anti-Bribery Convention, Costa Rica fights corruption on multiple fronts. In 2022, the National Public Ethics Prosecutor’s Office took important steps, including working with 15 professional associations – lawyers, engineers, accountants, architects, doctors and media– whose members engage in acts of corruption to develop strengthened ethics and transparency protocols”, the text describes.
They add that as of May 2022, 12 deputies to the Legislative Assembly for the 2018-2022 period had pending criminal cases of corruption.
Regarding the Executive Branch, mainly taking into account the previous one due to the time the study was carried out, they stated that “there is no evidence that senior government officials are involved in such activity.
Regarding the progress in work to combat this crime, they showed that last year the Judiciary began with the establishment of the first organized crime court in the countryincluding the remodeling of a special court and the training of judicial personnel.
“The Judiciary also continued its efforts to strengthen ethics controls in investigations, procedural and judicial, with the Judicial Investigation Police implementing an anti-corruption program. The judiciary, with the assistance of the United States, is also about to launch three new anti-corruption initiatives to identify and manage corruption in the judiciary.
The document highlights that the country remains on the list of nations identified as producers of illicit drugs and/or drug transit countrieswhich is notified to Congress by the President, pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228).
In addition to Costa Rica, there are Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic
Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
He points out that one of the focuses of criminal problems today is in the local criminal groups, because they have sought to leave more drugs in the country compared to other times when the territory was only exported or used for storage and transit.
“Costa Rica has a growing problem of internal drug consumption, since the drugs stored in Costa Rica increasingly enter the local market and the National Criminal Organizations Gain Influence With Increased Narcotics Revenues”, explains the official document.
In the section on Drugs and Chemical Control carried out by the Office of International Narcotics Affairs and Law Enforcement, it stands out that our country continues to be the main transshipment point for cocaine en route to the United States from South America.
“(…) it is a key transit point in international drug trafficking. Costa Rica due to its geographic location, vast maritime territory, and historically small and underfunded security becomes an attractive transit and storage center for illicit drug trafficking“, highlights the US government study.
As part of the investigation, data on the importation and distribution of chemical precursors was revealed, where Costa Rica also appears among the countries identified as the main precursors of this business for the production of illicit narcotics.