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Hiring a Costa Rica Private Investigator

Before hiring a Costa Rica private investigator

Hiring a Costa Rica private investigator does not have to be a stressful or difficult process.  Before hiring a Costa Rica private investigator, use these simple steps as a guideline for locating the right Costa Rica private investigator for your case. Today, it is easy to be misled, especially since the proliferation of third-party lead generators. These lead generators are not present in Costa Rica and do not disclose the consequences of using people that cannot meet your needs. This is especially true in the event your case goes to trial.

Licensing

There is no national licensing system for private investigators in Costa Rica. No one in Costa Rica has a license to do investigations.  Unlike the United States where PI licensing is regulated on the state level. If the actual investigator does not possess a license issued by a state, then that tells you that this person is unqualified to do investigative work.

Currently, the only states that do not require private investigators to be licensed are: Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, & Wyoming

Always contact the appropriate state licensing agency to confirm an investigator’s license is current and in good standing prior to hiring them.

PI Firms vs. Individuals

One key choice in hiring a Costa Rica Private Investigator is whether to hire an individual or an investigative firm. Firms typically employ greater resources and are ideal for cases requiring large amounts of surveillance and manpower. Individual PI’s can often provide a wealth of knowledge with issues including the location of persons, background investigations, asset investigations etc.

Be sure to choose an investigator or firm that employs the necessary resources and prior experience to properly address your needs.

Hiring a Private Investigator

It is important to feel comfortable with the PI you choose as matters that require private investigation cases are often of a sensitive nature. Look for individuals who are able to think “outside of the box” and adapt to changing situations easily. Inquire as to signing a contract or agreement listing the private investigator’s services, fees, and terms. Make sure this agreement comes from the person or firm who is physically present in Costa Rica and is actually doing the investigation. This protects both parties.

Be sure to ask a potential investigator as many questions as possible. If your not comfortable with their answers, demeanor, or experience you should find another private investigator with who you are.

Questions to Ask Your Investigator

How long have you been in business?

How many cases of this nature have you handled?

What is your success rate with cases of this nature?

What are your rates and fees?

Do you have experience testifying in court?

Do you take video of surveillance operations?

Can you perform covert surveillance as needed?

Can you provide a reference of an attorney you’ve worked for in the past?

Preparing Domestic Cases in Costa Rica

Preparing Domestic Cases In Costa Rica

How do you go about preparing domestic cases in Costa Rica? What are some considerations when planning a domestic or infidelity case in Costa Rica? Most of the cases we see are done on impulse. Usually, there is little if any planning that has been given to the case. This makes it more difficult for the investigator to do his job and will cost you more money. Understanding that the events leading up to the decision to hire a private investigator are troubling enough, it is easy to understand the lack of preparation. This article will give an insight into things that can be done to enhance and improve the chances of a successful infidelity investigation.

 

Advance Preparation

Most clients are aware of a planned trip well before the time it will start. If there are suspicions that your loved one is being unfaithful, now is the time to get your “ducks” in a row. Preparing domestic cases in Costa Rica, we have found the following to be useful. First, consider the resources available to fund the investigation. Many clients inquire about services and have given little or no thought on the cost of conducting a surveillance on their loved one. All targets of a surveillance never perform on cue. It is a matter of being in the right place at the right time to capture the indiscretion.

Part of the cost in Costa Rica is the location at which the surveillance will take place. Almost all of the resorts and hotels in Costa Rica have security and limited access by non guests. That means that the surveillance is limited to the times that the target is outside the hotel or resort. Experience has demonstrated that being in the hotel or resort as a guest increases the opportunities to watch and record the targets activities. Knowing ahead of time the location allows the Costa Rica Private Investigator time to make reservations and arrive at the same time the target. This can be costly as there are two seasons in Costa Rica, and the green season, which goes from November to April is usually priced twice as much as the rest of the year.

Surveillance is never like it is portrayed on television. Some television productions take a six week surveillance and condense it to one hour. Surveillance, simply does not work that way. The more ahead of time planning and preparation will assist in getting the results you want.

Intelligence

Itineraries, reservations, flights and travelling companions are all good intelligence that your Costa Rica Private Investigator can use. The more information you have about the trip and things that they will be doing will all prove to be invaluable.

Costa Rica Scam Alert: Tips Avoiding Scams

Traveling to Costa Rica? Beware! Costa Rica Scam Alert:

Costa Rica Scam Alert:

Scam 3Tips Avoiding Scams In Costa Rica we here at Cody L Gear and Associates know you work hard for your money. That is why we want to provide you with a Costa Rica Scam Alert offering some tips that may help you avoid being scammed in Costa Rica or at home.
It has come to our attention that various Internet solicitations have appeared with increased frequency on such posting boards as Craigslist and other social networking sites encouraging consumers to deposit escrow funds to secure an interest in property located in Costa Rica via payment through Western Union payable to what appears to be a legitimate, reputable real estate company with name recognition. (Such as Remax, Century21, etc.…)

We have contacted the real estate companies and none of them are in any way associated with this type of solicitation. In fact, we have learned that this is another scam being perpetrated on unwary consumers and is currently being investigated by law enforcement.

Additionally, we have been made aware of an Advance Fee Scam involving the unauthorized use of a brand name such as the ones mentioned above, using a website and email address utilizing the name of the nationally known real estate company to hold Advanced fee scam the property. In an effort to instill confidence in this transaction, the scammer fraudulently claims to have listed the property with the multi listing service, using a local Real Estate office in Costa Rica and arranges for a fraudulent email notification posing as a real estate agent in Costa Rica (and uses the real estate company’s logos) to be sent to the victim. The scammer disappears once the deposit is received, leaving the prospective buyer defrauded. For your information there is no regulatory oversight of the Real Estate industry in Costa Rica and there are no licensing requirements. Because of these facts, there is no such thing as a multiple listing service in Costa Rica

Here are some tips to help you avoid such scams:

KNOW THE PERSON YOU ARE SENDING MONEY TO – if you receive an email from a real estate agent with payment instructions, call the requesting office using the phone number located on the solicitation. Then call us (321-218-9209 or visit http://www.codygear.com )  to verify if this is a legitimate real estate company operating here in Costa Rica

CRAIGSLIST IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions or provide escrow services.

USE CAUTION WHEN GIVING OUT FINANCIAL AND OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION VIA EMAIL (bank account number, credit card number, social security number, etc.)

AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL “GUARANTEE” YOUR TRANSACTION.

These types of scams often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before withdrawing your money – this is FALSE, once you’ve wired money, it is GONE.

PROPERTY LISTING MAY BE LOCAL, but landlord/owner is “travelling” or “relocating” and needs you to wire money to them abroad.

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

Inquiry from someone far away, often in another country;
Western Union, Money Gram, cashier’s check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a “guarantee.”
Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction.

Who should you notify about fraud or scam attempts?
Cody L Gear and Associates (321-218-9209 or visit http://www.codygear.com)
• FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
• FTC online complaint form (http://www.ftc.gov)
• Canadian Phone Busters hotline: 888-495-8501
• Internet Fraud Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov)
• Non-emergency number for your local police department.
• The government agency in your country responsible for dealing with fraud

Hiring a Costa Rica Private Investigator

Hiring a Costa Rica private investigator

Costa Rica Private InvestigatorHiring a Costa Rica private investigator requires a thorough vetting before engaging for services. Recently, I have had several people who have written me about their bad experiences with investigations that were conducted by investigators not living in Costa Rica. I have written several blog posts as well as Facebook post advising potential clients to avoid investigators that do not live here. If retention of out of country investigator is your only option, beware, that’s what you get may cause you more heartache, grief and expense and more than likely you will not have the answers you seek.

Things to Check out before you do

information logo 1Here are a few questionable and unethical tactics employed by some investigators that have been reported to me. Scenario one; an inquiry is made into the requirements and costs of an investigation. After the initial communication, the investigator contacts you and says he has started the investigation and you owe money, although you never agreed to start the investigation. When you call this to the investigators’ attention he becomes combative and begins hurling insults and veiled threats.  Scenario two; after agreeing to have the investigator conduct an investigation, he contacts you and says that he has the information for you but you need to send more money. He says that the investigation took longer than expected and you must pay the money or he will not release the information to you. Scenario three; you learn that the investigator has contacted the target of your inquiry and has attempted to extort money from them.

The first scenario outlined is straight forward. A professional investigator will not start an investigation without receiving a retainer. He will also give you options on how to deposit the retainer via a bank or credit card company. He will not immediately demand that you send money via Western Union to a third party that you have never heard of before. If you have fallen victim to this scam, you don’t have to put up with it. If you have not sent any money, tell him to go pound sand. There is absolutely nothing he can do to you. If he threatens you simply hang up the phone. If he emails you keep, and archive the emails for future reference if the need arises. Consider yourself lucky that you escaped this unprofessional and unethical person and seek out a professional.

Money LaunderingThe second scenario is also straight forward. No professional investigator is going to conduct an investigation beyond the original agreement without first obtaining authorization from the client. Furthermore, all information developed to that point in time is your property not the investigators. Professional and ethical investigators know when an investigation is going to require more and will always contact the client before proceeding. After all, it is your money and your life could be irrevocably changed forever depending on the outcome. This type of situation is nothing more than an attempt to shake down the client for money. If he can’t demonstrate through convincing reason the need to proceed, then you should demand that he cease all further inquiries into the matter.

Perhaps the most disturbing and disgusting tactic is the playing both ends against each other.  In this case the investigator knows the target of the investigation and the circumstances surrounding the inquiry. Once they get the money from you they approach the target and tell them they have information that is vital. Information that could change the rest of their life and that for a fee they will give them the information. Imagine trusting a stranger with delicate and sensitive information and having that trust betrayed by such an unprofessional and unethical investigator.

In all of these scenarios the one common denominator is, they were all done by the same sleazy, slimy person that takes advantage of people’s desperation in getting answers to questions that will affect their lives forever. What’s more, it repeats itself from the same source with the same outcomes. These are just three instances I know factually, as I was retained after the fact to clean up the mess that was created by such unprofessional and unethical tactics.

 

Real Estate Fraud Plagues Costa Rica

Costa Rica Real Estate Fraud

Fraud Real EstateReal Estate fraud plagues Costa Rica with the announcement that police arrested four persons in connection with a $50 million dollar Real Estate fraud. According to numerous news sources the four arrested are lawyers and notaries. In Costa Rica all notaries have to be licensed attorneys. The paperwork that routinely passes through National Registry must be notarized. Since most land purchases are purchased in a Costa Rica Corporation. Generally, attorneys are given power of attorneys over the transactions. In contrast to the United States, a notary cannot notarize a negotiable instrument or conveyance to which he is a party. Here that is not the case. With that kind of power, it is easy and tempting to do something less than honest or correct. In this particular case according to the news source, the victim is an elderly German woman who appears to have lost ownership of her properties in southern Costa Rica due to inappropriate paperwork. Although the accused have yet to be identified the police are saying that have arrested a 61-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man in Alajuelita.

Also arrested were a 37-year-old woman in Cartago and a 60-year-old man in Coronado. According to police documents the crimes allegedly happened between 2010 and 2012.

Real Estate Fraud 2The two persons arrested in Alajuelita are also notaries but are not active now. The pair is charged with improperly administering the woman’s property in Punta Uva and Bahía Ballena, which is located in the southwestern area of the country. According to police documents, both had access to $5 million in cash.
The suspects that were arrested lived in Cartago and Coronado and are active notaries. Police said that they assisted in the creation of 19 corporations that play a role in the fraud. Police alleged that the suspects tricked the elderly woman into signing papers so that she lost the properties.
Agents also reported that when they searched the offices of the suspects they found two unregistered pistols.

Private Investigator Qualities

Private Investigator Qualities to Look For

UntitledPrivate Invcestigator Qualities you should look for before pulling the trigger. Private investigators have historically played a part of our childhood fascinations, thanks to the famous detective characters strewn across modern literature. From Sherlock Holmes to Erin Brockovich, the acute observation and the unparalleled wit of these famous private investigators makes the profession attractive to many. Always accompanied with a trusted and able assistant, detectives make use of just their intellectual abilities to nab the most unusual and crafty suspects. Among the many qualities that a detective should possess, here are some of the qualities of a good private investigator.

Knowledge: A real life detective gets a variety of assignments. They range from insurance frauds, extra marital affairs, theft reports, surveillance, and so on. Accordingly a private detective should possess an extensive amount of knowledge and experience that will help them to get the job done as quickly, smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Stealth:  A detective needs to be as inconspicuous as possible. They really cannot afford to demonstrate behavior or possess some characteristic that attracts unwanted attention. Especially in cases that require prolonged surveillance, detectives have to work in an incognito mode in order to gather as much information as possible.

Courage: This is a primary trait of private investigators. They should be really crafty and street smart. A little bit of hustling abilities are needed in order to get out of tight situations. As detectives do not really have any so called authoritative backing, they need their wit to get them out of sticky situations.

Trustworthiness: Their profession demands that clients disclose delicate information to them. Detectives need to understand and respect the importance and the trust the clients bestow by providing such information and they should not disclose it in any manner. The profession demands that client secrets be kept and any disclosure amounts to serious credibility issues, even inviting lawsuits.

Decision Making: This important trait rounds up the top quality of a private detective. The job sometimes creates situations which demand thinking on the feet and quick decision making abilities keeping the short term and long term objectives in mind. Stable conclusions based on observations that would help to resolve the case need to be taken confidently.

The qualities needed to be a detective are many. But these are some of the essential characteristics that are a must for a successful foray into this interesting profession.

 

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

This is part 2 of a blog Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Cheater photoIn part two of setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases, we will examine some of the mechanical issues of carrying out such investigations.  With the arrival of high season just around the corner we here in Costa will see an increase in inquiries about infidelity investigations. I feel that one important part of taking on a new client is setting expectations, including for cost, process, outcome, and findings. Many clients do not understand the process, including associated costs and the timeframe for gathering relevant information. I find that by setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases. it is best to provide the client with sufficient information prior to commencement in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. The investigative process utilized in these types of cases is an art not a science and as such has to be flexible as theses situations are fluid and change rapidly.

Further Recomendations and Adivce

  1. Timelines are given a realistic approach in each case as it begins to gather momentum. Initialy however the client is advised that until the target is acquired, it will take an approximate 3 – 6 hours of observation; which establishes how the target interacts in their setting. Following this a briefing is conducted with the client to establish a time line on when the investigtor will be communicating with them during the operation.
  2. Fees, costs are presented on a case by case consultation basis, after the initial intake and objectives of the clients wants andneeds. The fee is agreed upon and a non refundable contract is then entered into with the aforementioned listed as a description of services to expect.
  3. No pictures of them in bed together. Just as it is in the United States, there are privacy laws here. Usually we restrict our photographic work to videos of coduct that is vlearly egrgious or suspicious. Catching them in the sack with each otehr is not going to happen. It is not like you see on television.
  4. No Guarantee on Results, we cannot manufacture indiscretions and investigators who say they have never been made in a surveillance have not done that many surveillances or are just not being truthful. A retainer is required and additional time or cost will be approved by the client. We will maintain communication with the client via a safe phone. Do they really want to know? What will they do when they find out?
  5. We explain that there are cases where their loved is not be cheating. As previously mentioned, certain cases because of the controlling nature of the client, their loved one may just be lying to spend more time with their friends. Whether to watch a football game or just hangout, aby thing is possible is possible. Every investigation begins with the idea that the person could or could not be cheating. By explaining to our infidelity clients that once we begin to see signs (evidence) of cheating, we follow up on those leads to confirm or disprove that they are directly associated with infidelity.
  6. Each assignment brings a different cost, outcome, results and findings and are different due to the client, their loved one and the paramour involved in the matter. With the matter of children and the potential of or outcome of domestic violence, this to will reflect in this answer.
  7. Suggest counseling. A report will be given with photos and or video.
  8. The more information they provide the more cost effective and best chance of providing results.
  9. Worse case scenario at the inception of the inquiry. By the time they call us they know the answer. They just want proof.
  10. Findings and end results. It has been my experience that not all clients are ready to accept the findings abd want additional surveillance. Sometimes they are in denial and have a difficult time believing their loved one would cheat on them.
  11. Our clients are told the expectations are entirely up to the target we surveil. It all depends on the activities that taregt is engaged in during the hours of surveillance. Targets do not perform on cue! We tell our clients that domestic investigations generally cost between $2,500 & $5,000 depending on the circumstances. We have had domestic cases where we have billed more and have always had good results.

 

 

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Setting Expectations for Costa Rica Infidelity Cases

Cheater photo 3With the high season just around the corner we here in Costa will see an increase in inquiries about infidelity investigations. I feel that one important part of taking on a new client is setting expectations, including for cost, process, outcome, and findings. Many clients do not understand the process, including associated costs and the time frame for gathering relevant information. I find that by setting expectations for Costa Rica infidelity cases. it is best to provide the client with sufficient information prior to commencement in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. The investigative process utilized in these types of cases is an art not a science and as such has to be flexible as theses situations are fluid and change rapidly.

Recommendations from a Costa Rica Investigator

The final results are not always what a client wants or thinks it should be.

I have had cases where we followed people off and on for months and never caught them cheating. When you report this back to the client there are some that simply think you didn’t do your job. We always tell people, just because they may exhibit signs of cheating it doesn’t always mean they are and we can’t catch people that aren’t cheating, cheating!

 

The cost is always discussed up front,

Some people think you can catch a cheating partner in 1 hour and an investigation will only cost $100.00. Rarely do we encouter circumstances that allowed us to catch a cheater within the first moment of beginning a surveillance. Frequently, it’s difficult to get people to understand that when people cheat they don’t always meet with their lover daily or even every week. So sometimes it takes a little time to discover what they are doing. Time is money! Remeber a cheater never performs on cue!

 

Results to show they are or are not cheating. I am not in the bisiness of manufacturing fabrications to show someone is cheating. I have actually had clients that have requested that I set the target up with a hooker and capture the encounter on video. Obviously I am not in the extortion business either.

 

I let the client know that I will do everything in my power to bring resolution to their problem.

Sometimes they are just wrong, and there is nothing going on. PI work is 50% luck and 50% skill. I have to be in the right place at the right time and have the knowledge to do a proper and professional job once the situation presents itself. I also emphasize as I said earlier, targets of surveillance never perform on cue. It is important once the surveillance is undertaken that the client maintain a demeanor that is consistent with their normal behavior as to not alert or raise suspicion of the target

 

Depending on the signs that raised suspicion and habits 2-3 weeks. I explain our steps to provide results depending on the questionable behavior. Optional steps moving forward after confirmation such as attorneys or counseling. The majority of surveilance here is 3-6 days. It is expensive and a budget ranging from $1,200-$5,000 should be expected. Additionally there will be expenses that are not covered in the professional fees.

I generally tell my clients that it’s difficult to uncover infidelity with less than 10 hours of surveillance. Its possible, but not likely. I suggest a minimum of 20 hours of surveillance. Assuming I’m only using one investigator on the case, that will cost a client around $3000. A thorough Costa Rica infidelity investigation will run a client a minimum of $3000. We like to have a consultation with the client prior to the surveillance in order to mete out the details of the case (surveillance schedule, physical descriptions, photographs, etc). I cannot guarantee results and we take a full retainer up front.

Timeline 1-3 days of surveillance.

No guarantees that we will find anything. Will not induce the subject into making contact. Provide them with our hourly rate and mileage rates.

I let my clients know what to expect up front so as they do not get unreasonable expectations. Cost is one of the first thing we discuss.

Every client is given a realistic set of expectations as to what my inquriry can legally engage in

That is in some cases when they ask for “off the radar” information; it is explained that in the course of conducting an investigation it serves the client’s best interest in utilizing a legally sound practice and methods. This allows all information harvested to be admissible and shared between both parties.

Dealing with a Cheating Spouse in Costa Rica

Dealing with a Cheating Spouse in Costa Rica

Cheater photoI have many clients that ask me what do I do when dealing with a cheating spouse in Costa Rica? Have you just recently learned or recently become suspicious  that your spouse is or has been cheating on you? If you have concrete proof, you may want to confront him or her right away. Of course, it is your decision to do so, but there are a few important points that you will want to take into consideration first. After all, calling out a cheating spouse is a major step, but is it one that you are ready to take? Has he all of a sudden take a real interest in travelling to Costa Rica alone? Is he being untruthful with you as to his destinations, hotel and transportation?  All of these are signs of infidelity which you need answers.

When looking to confront a cheating spouse, it is important to know that you can do so at just about any point in time. If you are ready to confront your spouse now, go ahead and do so. If you would prefer to wait, like until you are ready to start divorce proceedings, be sure to wait. Although it may be difficult to stand the sight of your significant other, it is important to proceed with caution. It is always best to have proof in the form of a photo or video to show them in the event of denial. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words.

One of the best times to confront your spouse is when you have concrete proof. Did you seem them cheating? Were they having \*\*\* or just out to dinner? What about documentation? Do you have pictures or video of your spouse having inappropriate actions with another? Do you have credit card receipts or cell phone bills that point towards an affair? If you do, you may be ready to confront your spouse. Unfortunately, too many men and women make the mistake of jumping the gun.

Although there is a good chance that you may choose to forgive your cheating spouse, you may also wish to terminate the relationship. Until you are ready to start divorce proceedings, it is a wise idea to not say anything. Many men and women feel comfort and peace of mind when they are first able to get their life in order before they spring a divorce on their husband or wife.

Another sign that you may be ready to confront your cheating spouse is if you are ready to leave the home if you have to. With that being said, it is important to not leave in certain circumstances. Is the home in your name? Do you help to pay the bills or do you pay most of them? Do you have children? If so, you may want to refrain from uprooting your whole life. Instead, make your cheating spouse leave. Just know that they may refuse to do so right away.

As previously stated, it is a wise idea to get your affairs in order before confronting a cheating spouse and asking them for a divorce. You will want to place a good focus on your finances. Are you in good financial standing? Does most of your money belong to your spouse or is it in their control? If so, you may want to wait. Unless you have a good and secure network of friends and family members, it is important to make sure that you can financially survive on your own, especially if you have children.

The best time to confront a cheating spouse is when you know it is safe to do so. Does your husband or wife have violent tendencies? If so, be sure to keep the kids away. Next, consider confronting them in public or have a trusted friend, relative, or the police on hand. For your safety, never confront a cheating spouse who has been drinking or who has used drugs. This is likely to increase the chance of violence. Confronting your spouse and ending your relationship should be important to you, but please don’t put yourself at risk.

Since there are no guarantees that cheating could be going on, even with the above mentioned signs present, additional steps should be taken. These steps can and should include monitoring cell phone calls, viewing the cell phone bill, or hiring a private investigator. Never confront your husband or wife without the proper proof. Be sure to get solid evidence of cheating, otherwise you could be creating a whole new problem in your relationship.

Costa Rica Safety

What About Costa Rica Safety?

Crime 1Concerns about Costa Rica safety are heightened among those thinking about relocating to Costa Rica. Recent murders of American citizens, Kurt Hergis in La Fortuna in February and Stephen Rutkiewicz in Guanacaste in December have served as an impetus for the rise in concern.Unbiased responses can be challenging since many who contribute information from the English speaking community have a vested interest in bringing in expats who are liquid and looking to invest in Costa Rica. Caution needs to be exercised and a doubtful thought process should be used when listening to real estate agents or relocation agents.

According to recent statistics Costa Rica (10 murders per 10,000) is less violent than its neighboring countries in Central America (28.5 murders per 10,000). This is in comparison to the United States which has a murder rate (4.7 per 10,000). In Canada the rate is even lower (1.6 per 10,000). The statistics have been compiled globally by the United Nations in 2012.

Costa Ricans have an unrealistic view of relative criminal activity as compared to the United States since the periodic mass shooting in the United States has the tendency to dominate world news. Physical violence in the United States for the most part is focused in urban city centers, such as Detroit (54.6 murders per 100,000) or Baltimore (34.9 murders per 100,000). Total rates for murder continue to be low in the United States since it is a nation of 313 million individuals.

Costa Rica, with 4.8 million people is by per capita more dangerous than the United States. Some say that much of the physical violence is a direct result of the drug trade that exist between South and Central America and the United States. For example, neighboring Honduras (91.6 murders per 10,000) and El Salvador (69.2 murders per 10,000) are the two most violent nations in the world. The Security    Ministry furthered this opinion by reporting that immigrants and others that are difficult to account for contribute significantly to the violence in Costa Rica.

Expats tend to notice the violence as it affects their own peer group or comes into their community. There is relatively small English language coverage of the shootings and murders that take place in southern San Jose or the Caribbean coast. Objectively, the drug related violence in these areas is the kind of thing that is not likely to affect a tourist or expat directly. However, violence has a tendency to eventually cross borders and social divisions. Thus violence in places like Limon will eventually impact everyone who lives here.