The man was detained after surveillance of his activities in the country was carried out.
- Migration Police photo -

Published on Tuesday, July 27, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Migration Police officers from the San Carlos station, in the northern zone of ​​Alajuela Province, arrested a Nicaraguan man, surnamed González-Monge, on suspicion of being linked to the Mara Salvatrucha gang, MS-13.

According to the police report, the man was detained after surveillance of his activities in the country was carried out. "González has multiple tattoos considered distinctive of these criminal organizations," the police said in their report. "After a review of his profile in the security systems, it was concluded that he is an active member of the MS-13."

The suspect was taken to the cells of the Central Region Apprehension Center where he will remain while the deportation process to his country continues.

“The Migration Police, competent in the matter and obliged by law to investigate transnational organized crime, has been developing strategic actions to detect and apprehend the members of these gangs and then carrying out the operations promptly, being that these people are active members of these organizations, which identify themselves with crimes such as extortion, drug trafficking and kidnappings, situations that we undertake to combat from this police force for and for the national security of our country,” Commander Alonso Soto, Deputy Director of the Professional Migration Police said.

According to the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at the American University in Washington D.C, the Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, is an international criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles, California, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Some sources state the gang is named for La Mara, a street in San Salvador, and the Salvatrucha is slang for guerrillas who fought in the Salvadoran Civil War from 1979 to 1992.

Originally, the gang was set up to protect Salvadoran immigrants from other gangs in the Los Angeles area. Over time, the gang grew into a more traditional criminal organization.

Recently, specialists from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, trained the officers from the Professional Migration Police and four officers from other security bodies on gang management, according to the General Directorate of Migration.

This year, the Migration Police have detained more than 17 foreigners as suspects of association with the MS-13 gang.

The judicial agents call on the population to report any suspicion of members of MS-13 in Costa Rica to the confidential line 800-8000-645. Their bilingual agents can answer calls in English or Spanish.

What have you heard about MS-13 activity in your community?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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