“Mexico, Colombia and Argentina decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana a few years ago. In Guatemala, President Otto Perez Molina is proposing moves to push for the legalisation of marijuana and potentially other drugs. Chile and Costa Rica are also debating the introduction of medical marijuana policies. Uruguay last year became the first country in the world to approve the growth, sale and distribution of marijuana”–
“Corruption is still a major problem inside Panama,” says Prof Orlando Perez, of Central Michigan University. “To some extent it’s systemic to the way Panama’s economy is structured.”
– BBC News
“The biggest impediment to a healthy tourism industry are the Panamanian authorities. You’re not advertising your country if tourists are constantly met with hostile and corrupt police and have to navigate incoherent rules and laws that are impossible to find anywhere.”
“We get the orders from the old men, the bosses. They tell us who to kill, who to chop up. But I don’t know why.”
“Eighty-four percent of Costa Ricans believed government corruption was widespread.”
“There have been lawyers convicted and jailed for stealing from their clients still allowed to practice law from their jail cells. The head of Noriega’s corrupt Electoral Tribunal? She was not only not disbarred, she went on to be a law school dean.”
“According to a recent World Economic Forum survey that examined influence on judiciaries, Nicaragua is believed to be among the world’s most corrupt: Of 142 countries, it ranked 136th. Sergio León, a veteran Bluefields journalist, describes the court system this way: “There is no law and order,” he says.”
“In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Noriega alleges that “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” portrays him as “a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state.””
The “DEA is actually one of the biggest spy operations there is,” says Finn Selander, a former DEA special agent …“Our mandate is not just drugs. We collect intelligence.” Selander added that “countries let us in because they don’t view us, really, as a spy organization.””
“President-elect Juan Carlos Varela announced that he will transfer 700 to 1,000 National Border Service, National Air Service and Institutional Protection Service units to provide citizen security. Security experts view this interagency effort as a positive initiative since the National Police is overloaded with crime.”
Reader response to Crime in Costa Rica : “On my 10th consecutive year going back and forth to Costa Rica we have officially marked this place off the list for good!
It was almost six p.m., I was pruning my darlings, and fading another tropical afternoon with a fat roach of Punta Rojo.
“The reality is that Boquete is generally safe but that no place in Panama is entirely safe. Froon’s and Kremers’s disappearance is a rare event, only the second incident of a tourist disappearing from the Boquete area in more than three years. It is also true that in Panama there are a number of unsolved disappearances of women over the past decade …”
UPDATE : “Their remains and belongings were found near a riverbed in the heavily wooded terrain after an intensive two-month search.”
“… they trade turtle eggs, meat, and shells for drugs. Mostly crack. Sometimes they are so desperate that they kill a hawksbill turtle for as little as $20. It’s easy money for them—a leatherback turtle egg is worth about $1.00 [they are believed by some to have aphrodisiac properties] and a turtle lays about 80 to 100 eggs. So, if they find several nests, they can make several hundred dollars a night.“