Are You Visiting Costa Rica? Warning
Are you Visiting Costa Rica? Warning; violent crime has reached an all time high here. 2015 saw nearly 600 murders as opposed to 378 deaths in automobile accidents. This beautiful country has been mired with an onslaught of murders that seem uncontrolled. Although the authorities are aware and alarmed at the increase, they lack the infrastructure to adequately respond. This is not to criticize the government here, but merely a statement of fact.
Costa Rica Not Prepared
Costa Rica prison situation, overcrowded, poorly managed and woefully under financed has led the government to release back into the population hundreds of convicted criminals. This in combination with the expanding narco trafficking and influx of Mexican gang members is fueling the homicide rate. The majority of murders involve Costa Ricans.
Murders of Foreign Nationals Rise
However, the indiscriminate murder of foreign nationals is on the rise as well. Recently two Dutch nationals along with their woker were bound and executed at their propety in Punterenas. Other examples include a brutal attack on another Dutch national who operates a small bed and breakfast, where 3 Mexican guests attacked and tried to strangle her to death.
The police here are underfunded and despite their best efforts they struggle to identify and capture violent criminals. Even when they do the chances of the suspect remaining in jail are slim. Costa Rica has no capital punishment for murderers. Prison sentences are short lived with the violent criminals serving only a small portion of their sentences.
My advice is to always be aware of your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks while visiting this tropical paradise. Do not take your security for granted. Don’t travel alone if possible. Maintain contact with loved ones back home and tell them your activities as well as posting on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. For example, post a picture of your hotel and rental car. In the event something does happen, you have left valuable information to follow.
I know that most don’t want to think about bad things that can happen when travelling to a foreign country, but today it is necessary to exercise caution wherever you go.