In the letter from President Trump published by the White House, the Venezuelan dictator, Nicolás Maduro is singled out as one of
the largest drug traffickers in the Americas. - Ministry of Security and the U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo -

Published Monday, September 21, 2020

Costa Rica, corridor for high drug
trafficking, says the U.S. government

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica appears once again on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for the Fiscal Year 2021 list of countries designated by the U.S. government due to high drug trafficking.

In the Presidential Determination by Donald Trump, more than twelve Latin American countries are listed as the largest drug producers or marketers in the world.

In addition to Costa Rica, the list includes: Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize, and Venezuela.

According to Michael Soto, Minister of Security, the country appears on the list for serving as a corridor for drug shipments between South America and the United States.

In the letter from President Trump published by the White House, the Venezuelan dictator, Nicolás Maduro is singled out as one of the largest drug traffickers in the Americas.

"The most complicit kingpin in this Hemisphere is the Venezuelan dictator, Nicolas Maduro. This March, a U.S. court indicted Maduro for narcoterrorism and conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the United States. In response, the U.S. Department of State announced a $15 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction. He joined a multitude of other regime cronies who are either under U.S. indictment or were sanctioned for drug crimes by the Department of the Treasury. The United States will continue to support the Venezuelan people, Interim President Juan Guaido, and the democratically elected National Assembly, and will work together with the legitimate Interim Government of Venezuela to stop drug trafficking and root out the criminal elements that have exploited that country. Maduro's illegitimate narco-regime should face justice for its crimes" President Trump said in its Presidential Memoranda.

The U.S. government gives continuous support to the Ministry of Security in the fight against drug trafficking.

The most recent case happened on Thursday, when the United States Coast Guard detained the crew of two boats, suspected of drug trafficking, in addition to seizing the drugs and the boats.

According to the Ministry of Security, the two boats had seven suspects and 1.3 tons of cocaine.

The crew of the two ships were detained in international waters during a patrol operation. Because the two ships had Costa Rican plates, they were handed over to Costa Rican Coast Guards.

According to the police report, the first boat to be detained was registered as a fishing boat in Costa Rica, under the name Modesta III.

The crew was identified as three Costa Rican men surnamed Fajardo- Sánchez, 39, Blanco- Jiménez, 35, Alvarado- Porras, 48, and a Nicaraguan surnamed Rivera, 33.

When coast guard officials inspected the ship, they found 700 packages of cocaine, each weighing approximately one kilogram.

The previous week, the U.S. Coast Guard detained another vessel registered as a fishing boat named Adriana with Costa Rican plates. The crew of three Costa Rican men named Chaves-Rodríguez, 39, Sánchez-Ríos, 53, and Fernández-Espinoza, 52 were detained.

During the inspection, officers found 600 packages of cocaine weighing approximately one kilogram each.

On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard delivered the two vessels, the suspects, the seized drugs and other evidence of the case, to the Costa Rican officials in the port of Golfito, Puntarenas Province.

What could Costa Rican authorities do to remove the country of the drug trafficking list of the U.S. government?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to