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The majority of victims of human trafficking are immigrants, who are often scammed or robbed by the human trafficking gangs
- Ministry of Security photo -

Published Wednesday, May 5, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most of the human trafficking suspects detained in Costa Rica, from January to March, were in the northern zone of the country near the border with Nicaragua, according to a Border Police report.

"These detentions are the result of highway control operations and patrols through the so-called blind areas, by land, rivers, lagoons and canals of the northern border," the police said.

La Cruz Canton in Guanacaste Province is the place with the most arrests in that registered period, 29 suspects in total. In Los Chiles Canton, also in the northern zone of the country, 15 suspects have been arrested. While on the North Caribbean Coast, two suspects of human trafficking were arrested.

However, other arrests have also taken place in the southern zone, near the border with Panama. In Golfito Canton, seven suspects were arrested.

According to the police, in most cases, human traffickers have criminal records, or they are Nicaraguans who also enter the country illegally.

Also, the majority of victims of human trafficking are immigrants, who are often scammed or robbed by the human trafficking gangs, the police said. "In many cases, these migrants (referring to the victims) are people in vulnerable situations, such as the elderly, pregnant women, children or people who do not even understand the Spanish language," the Ministry of Security said in its statement.

According to the ministry, detecting people who enter the country illegally is a way of rescuing victims of human trafficking. Those victims are at the risk of being exploited for labor or sex.

Border Police officers call on people to report any suspected human trafficking to the 911 emergency line or the Judicial Investigation Organization by dialing 800-8000-645 or 11-76, these are confidential lines. Bilingual agents can answer calls in English or Spanish.

What have you heard about human trafficking in your community?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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