Drug Trade Threatens Costa Rica’s ‘Pura Vida’ Reputation

first_img SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — A group of 14 prisoners tried to escape May 12th from La Reforma, Costa Rica’s largest prison. The attempted jailbreak was led by Nicaraguan inmate Erlyn Hurtado, who in 2005 was involved in one of the nation’s bloodiest massacres, and Johel Araya, who was shot six times in an escape attempt from the same prison in 2006. The escape attempt began when Hurtado opened his jail cell using a set of the prison’s master keys and held guards hostage with a .380 pistol, the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) said. Hurtado then opened Araya’s cell and freed another 20 to 30 more inmates. They used smoke bombs, fake grenades, radios and cellphones to corral 15 hostages — mostly prison guards — and demanded an escape vehicle. After a three-hour standoff, Costa Rican police intervened to thwart the escape attempt. Hurtado, a fellow prisoner and a prison guard were killed in the ensuing shootout. Just outside the prison gates, authorities found a vacant Dodge van stocked with AK-47s, ski masks, bulletproof vests, $2,000 in cash, food, bottles of water and homemade explosives. Despite round-the-clock surveillance and strict regulations against unauthorized parking, the Dodge had been on the property for four days. “With the information we have obtained about the escape thus far in our investigation, it appears the criminals were operating under the assistance of someone working within the prison system,” said OIJ Director Jorge Rojas. “Our investigation will be aimed at determining who was responsible for assisting the prisoners in the escape.” Last week, Rojas and Security Minister Mario Zamora said the escape attempt might be linked to drug traffickers. “What we do know is that someone in the prison administration must have had strong connections and a motive for assisting the prisoners with the keys,” said Zamora. “Drug cartels are very wealthy and powerful, which often results in corruption.” Three Mexican prisoners jailed in La Reforma were linked to international drug organizations at the time of their arrest in Costa Rica, OIJ said. Cartels in Costa Rica Over the past few years, Costa Rican security forces, including the OIJ and the Drug Control Police (known by its Spanish initials PCD), have locked up several high-profile criminals tied to Mexican drug cartels. In March, three Mexicans linked to the infamous Sinaloa cartel were detained at a residence in Cartago, east of San José. The men were in possession of 319 kilograms of cocaine valued at $12.7 million. They had been in and out of Costa Rica several times since 2007, and were being closely monitored by the OIJ. Two other men with suspected links to the Sinaloa cartel were arrested in February. In May 2007, the OIJ conducted a raid known as “Operation Aztec” on a house in the western San José neighborhood of Rohrmoser. Seven Mexicans and one Colombian were arrested while remodeling the house as a cocaine storage facility for the Sinaloa cartel. A month earlier, the PCD raided a home in Tejar del Guarco, east of San José, and arrested two Mexicans in possession of 300 kilograms of cocaine and money in multiple currencies. Mauricio Boraschi, director of the PCD, said earlier this month that Costa Rica acts as a bridge. “The drugs have to be transported either by air, land or sea. Transportation is typically organized by Mexican organizations and has to move north through Central America,” he said. “To do so, Mexican organizations typically move drugs north by sea or air, as ground transportation is the easiest to monitor. When drugs are moved north via the sea, Central American ports are used.” Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry said police last year seized 9,900 kilograms of cocaine, the second-highest quantity in history, exceeded only by 2008 figures. The ministry also reported that 101 drug organizations were dismantled in 2010, a record high. From 2006 to 2010, 400 drug organizations were broken up, including 347 local groups and 53 international ones. Chinchilla: Much more must be done On May 4, four days shy of her one-year anniversary, President Laura Chinchilla told lawmakers what her government was doing to improve security for the country’s 3.5 million citizens. During her 90-minute speech, she mentioned “narcotrafficking” seven times. “Today I am here to confirm the vision that is shared by everyone in the country: to make Costa Rica a more secure home for all of its residents,” she said. “To achieve that goal, we will do so by following one route: the route of human security. Never before has the word ‘insecurity’ defined so many of our lives.” While Chinchilla boasted of her administration’s accomplishments in combating the drug trade, she warned that “we observe with alarm the relentless advance of organized crime and drug-trafficking threatening our democracy with potential corruption and extortion, as well as violence and delinquency.” Most security officials agree that if Costa Rica intends to confront the drug traffickers, more help is needed — and fast. At present, the government has only one helicopter, and most of the Costa Rican Coast Guard’s patrol vessels are aged and incapable of pursuing high-speed boats in open waters. People in rural towns throughout the country complain of a lack of police and security. Many towns with populations ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 have police forces of two, three or five officers that are required to patrol areas of several hundred squares kilometers of land and sea. Costa Rica’s former security minister, José María Tijerino, said in his final address that “the state of the forces in certain parts of the country is deplorable.” PCD’s Boraschi agreed. “It is evident that the drug cartels are very powerful and can infiltrate places we used to consider untouchable, Boraschi said. “If we plan to keep drugs out of our country, it will require significant investment by our government. We need more police, we need better equipment and we need international assistance. If we don’t begin to put these pieces in place soon, the face of this country could soon be altered by drug-trafficking.” By Dialogo May 27, 2011last_img read more

Fatal Hit-and-run Suspect Accused of Cover-up

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sylvestro LiottaAuthorities said a fatal hit-and-run suspect who was caught at the Canadian border last week had tried to cover-up his crime by walking back to the scene and pretending to be a Good Samaritan.Sylvestro Liotta pleaded not guilty Tuesday at Suffolk County court to charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a license, perjury and offering a false instrument for filing.“The evidence shows that after running the victim over, Liotta left the scene in his damaged work vehicle only to return on foot to implement a cover-up,” Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said. “He walked back to Caleb’s Path where he struck [the victim] and dialed 911 to report that he found a seriously injured man in the roadway.”Prosecutors said the 45-year-old Central Islip man fatally struck Orlando Marquez, 38, on Caleb’s Path near the victim’s Brentwood home on Feb. 18 and fled the scene.The victim was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead. Liotta was arrested by New York State Police as he tried to cross the border into Canada.“The defendant had a plan in place to flee to Europe and rendezvous with a friend he’d made online,” Spota said.Bail for Liotta was set at $400,000 bond or $200,000 cash. He is due back in court May 22.last_img read more

Two state troopers and a forest ranger detail the viral, five hour rescue hike

first_img12 News spoke with the Troopers and Forest Ranger who shared their experience for the first time. MARGARETVILLE (WBNG) — A Facebook post went viral this week after two New York State Troopers, Trooper Crystal Rhodes and Trooper Chris Amendolare, and State Forest Ranger, Jason Seeley, rescued two lost hikers after a five hour search in the Huckleberry trails.last_img

International Congress of Historic Cities – Promotion and Development of New Products in Historic Cities

first_imgGiven the archeological site of Salona and its importance in ancient history, Solin is certainly a great place to host such an event. Find out more about the ICPG Congress HERE The Congress brings together lecturers from the tourism and archeological profession from Romania (Alba Iulia City Administration), Austria (Vienna City Administration), Prague Tourist Board, Ministry of Tourism, Zagreb Archaeological Museum, Korčula Tourist Board, Hrvatsko Zagorje Museum, Apoxyomenos Museum, Institute for reconstruction of Dubrovnik, the Tourist Board of the city of Sinj, representatives of the Split-Dalmatia County and the city of Split. In addition to lectures, the program includes a panel discussion on ‘Entrepreneurship in Culture and Tourism’, which will be addressed by prominent individuals from the public and private sectors. The 26th International Congress of Historic Towns (MKPG) will be held in Solin from March 29 to 2019, 5, organized by the Tourist Board of the City of Solin, the Hotel President Solin and the City of Solin.  The International Congress of Historic Cities is held under the motto “Meet, share & build” which aims to encourage meetings (“Meet” concept) of leaders in tourism and archeology of historic cities, exchange of experiences in promoting them in the domestic and international tourism market (” Share) concept) as well as the development of new tourism products and arrangements through the joint engagement of leading people in the destination’s tourism (“Build” concept). center_img The theme of the congress is the protection and interpretation of historical attractions and sites in historic cities throughout Croatia through “benchmarking” with cities from abroad. The historical periods to be presented include the period of prehistory to the Middle Ages. The aim is to present the historical cities of Croatia and abroad from different historical periods with an emphasis on destination management, ie creative and interpretive presentation of historical sites. last_img read more

Electrolux plans Prologis tie-up

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Disaster sees celebrity hideaway emerge lighter and brighter

first_img MORE: Main Beach Bungalow’s mega sale price revealed Alan passed away 13 years ago from cancer, but not before the couple had bought their resort-style home by the water, which over the years hosted rock ’n’ roll singers and high-profile sporting stars. They included Brian Cadd, Greedy Smith, former rugby league footballer Benny Elias, country music singer-songwriter Jade Hurley and several Wallabies and Waratahs players.Ms Morris said the two-storey home, the closest house to the beach, was built 17 years ago.“We bought it when it was just over two years old. We hadn’t had any damage from previous cyclones, until Cyclone Debbie,” Ms Morris said. “For 16 hours those 300km/h winds just kept coming. So we had some damage from that and some water came in. We got rid of the floorboards downstairs and tiled it, and the kitchen is brand new. We didn’t have to pay much because our insurance covered most of it.”She said for about $100,000 they did the decking around the swimming pool, and put tiles in other places. Lotus House: 2 Grasstree Place, Hamilton Island.When disaster struck this island home, which has hosted many celebrities and sports stars in its time, the hideaway emerged lighter and brighter.The beautiful waterfront retreat has borne the brunt of many cyclones, the most ferocious being Cyclone Debbie. Known as Lotus House, the four-bedroom Hamilton Island home is at 2 Grasstree Place. It’s owned by one of the island’s high-profile long-term residents, Lissa Morris, who has made the decision to leave her paradise because of health reasons. BEFORE: The kitchen was all wood and grain. AFTER: Sleeker and lighter effect in the open plan kitchen.Ms Morris said the biggest renovation undertaken was transforming the kitchen.“The kitchen had limestone benchtops and we changed all that. There was so much wood and it made the house look dark. The house was painted a dark green and I painted it white,” she said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours agoThe property is on the quiet and peaceful northern end of Hamilton Island, next-door to the Qualia resort, with direct water access.The Chris Beckingham-designed home is positioned in the centre of the site with perfect elevation to capture expansive views and take maximum advantage of the gentle slope allowing easy access to the water. Open plan living on the island.In 2017 Cyclone Debbie tore through tropical Queensland and ripped many homes apart, many of which have not been rebuilt.Ms Morris said she took shelter in the home’s “booze room” at the time 300km/h winds forced their way across the island. “It has solid walls and it was sturdy,” she said.Ms Morris said that in 1982, she first bought an apartment on the island with her husband Alan, known locally as the “ad man”. Alan “Mo” Morris, one half of the legendary advertising team of Mojo with Allan “Jo” Johnston, was known for many jingles including the cricket anthem Come On Aussie, Come On. The duo were also responsible for putting Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home to Qantas ads in a campaign that still runs today. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58center_img BEFORE: The veranda zone was full of dark wood. AFTER: The entire veranda was lightened up giving a lighter feel to the holiday home.Ms Morris described her home as a resort. “It’s total isolation here,” she said.Ms Morris said she now lives in the house with her new partner and they spend a lot of time on the spacious deck admiring the beautiful views.“You can sunbake naked on the deck and no one can see you,” she chuckled.The home comes furnished and has a balcony off every room “It’s so easy to maintain, we don’t even have a cleaner,” she said. It also comes with two buggies. The property is being sold by Wayne Singleton, from Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty – Whitsundays. Price upon application. Phone 0416 024 168. $1m QLD donor to coronavirus cure fund just a country boy at heart If you want exclusive, how about a suburb with just 15 houses? FOLLOW COURIER MAIL REAL ESTATE ON FACEBOOKlast_img read more

DAEC holds service to observe 8th anniversary since Dominica was dedicated to God.

first_imgFaithLifestyleNews DAEC holds service to observe 8th anniversary since Dominica was dedicated to God. by: – April 8, 2011 Tweet Photo credit: bahamaselectricity.comThe Dominica Association of Evangelical Churches will this evening hold a special service in observance of the country’ 8th anniversary since it was dedicated to God.Eight years ago government officials, the Christian community and other Dominicans gathered in large numbers to dedicate Dominica to God and to pray for direction of the nation.Dominica was at the time going through its own political turmoil and financial crises coupled with violence and crime.One of the executive members of the DAEC Michel Jean Jacques says this year’s anniversary will be celebrated with a service of thanksgiving to God for preserving the nation.Jean Jacques said there will not be any special addresses from Government ministers tonight; however he would like many persons from all faiths to attend.The service will be held at the auditorium of the people’s church from 7:30 pm.Dominica Vibes News Share 39 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Church on the Rock holds media sale for ‘Speed the Light’

first_imgBatesville, In. — Church on the Rock will host its annual Used Book Sale July 26-28. Money raised will be donated to “Speed the Light.” “Speed the Light” is a student-initiated, volunteer, charitable program that provides much-needed equipment to missionaries across the nation and in over 180 countries around the world.Hardcover books, CDs and DVDs are $1 each. Softcover books, cassettes and VHS tapes are $.50 each and all children’s books are $.25. The sale will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.Church on the Rock is at 407 N Township Line Rd., Batesville, IN. For more information, call the church at (812) 934-5192.last_img read more

Lord’s cricket card fraudster faces jail time

first_imgA MAN who faked a membership card to access the best seats at Lord’s has been told he could go to jail.James Lattimer put his photograph on to a card – originally owned by a Lord’s member who died in 2014 – after he bought it on eBay, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.Lattimer, 51 and from Bournemouth, was found with the faked card in August.He admitted fraud at a hearing in November and is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a later date.It costs £1 000 to become a member of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), known colloquially as the home of cricket, and there is a 29-year waiting list.Lattimer, of Green Road in Bournemouth, used the faked card to get into an exclusive members-only area after buying a ticket to enter the ground.Passing sentence, District Judge Samuel Mark Goozee told Lattimer: “I consider my powers are not sufficient for sentence.”Lattimer, who runs a corporate cleaning company, was released on unconditional bail. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

Spurs Stake Unbeaten Run in London Derby

first_imgThings are starting to heat up in the race for the Premiership Crown this season with the top place changing hands now on a regular basis. Only four points separates first place team Chelsea and fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur which will add extra spice to the London derby in Week 13 of the Premier League. Most analysts are however tipping The Blues as the favorite due to their current outstanding form, but it is going to be tough against the only unbeaten side in the league.Chelsea fans will be pleased to see their team sitting top of the table after the dreadful campaign run last season. The Blues are flying at the moment, have kept six clean sheets on the bounce by winning their last six matches. After the doom and gloom of being walloped by Arsenal 3-0, they have been unbeaten and not conceded a single goal. Credit has to go to new manager, Antonio Conte, who after that defeat has managed to solve their defensive problems and made them the most solid defense in the league.Chelsea has a big advantage over the other teams chasing the league title as they did not qualify for Europe last season. It means they can fully concentrate on domestic competitions and gain from playing fewer matches. That will come in vital during the crunch time as we saw last season with Leicester City. In recent weeks the Blues have proved that they are genuine contenders for the league and are tipped as favorites. It is however vital that Chelsea win its next two matches if they are going to be considered genuine title contenders. After playing Spurs, they will then face Manchester City and if they manage to beat both teams, they will increase their lead over the pack. It will give them an advantage over the busy Christmas period and if they continue their fine form, they will be very difficult to overturn.  Spurs remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League but they have drawn too many games. With star striker, Harry Kane back from injury and saving them from their fifth draw in the league on the bounce in the finals minutes against West Ham with a brace, the fans at White Hart Lane will be extremely pleased to see their team back on track.Though still one of the favorites for the title, they cannot afford a big slip or they will find themselves with too many points to catch up.If they want to win the EPL this season they must beat Chelsea to close the gap to a single point between the two. If they lose, they will find themselves seven points adrift and therefore cannot afford too many more slip-ups if they are going to finish at the top.Both teams are going to be up for this crunchy encounter, so fans should be in for a high-intensity game. The winners will be well placed to go into the busy Christmas period and will put themselves in a great place to win the title.It is therefore not expected to be a high scoring match as they both have excellent defenses.The Blues ended Spurs’ hopes of winning the Premier League title in May after they came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in a match that also produced 12 yellow cards.But following Spurs’ disappointing Champions League exit in midweek at AS Monaco, Pochettino will be desperate for a better performance against England’s in-form team.Manchester City visit Turf Moor in the first match of the weekend in a game Burnley must have to recover quickly from Monday’s 4-0 defeat by West Bromwich Albion to prepare for The Citizens.Burley, however, can take encouragement from their previous encounters against the top sides in the Premier League, having beaten Liverpool at home, drawing at Manchester United and only losing to Arsenal due to a controversial last-minute goal.“We need to pick ourselves up. It’s a massive game next weekend and hopefully we can get some points from that. This was definitely our worst game of the season. It’s tough to take but this is football and we have to keep going. We also need to learn from our mistakes. We know what we did wrong and we just need to fix that and hopefully we will be all right next weekend. But we have shown against good teams we can play really well, so we will do that next weekend, definitely,” Johann Gudmundsson .City are third in the table on 27 points, 13 ahead of 12th-placed Burnley after 12 games going into today’s encounter. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more