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20 years

Chinchilla says Costa Rica is “cleaning house” of organized crime

laura chinchilla

President Laura Chinchilla (archive photo)

June 19th, 2013 ( President Laura Chinchilla said yesterday that Costa Rica is “cleaning house” of organized crime, and challenged other countries in the region to “dare” to do the same.


The statement came during a press conference yesterday, in which Chinchilla addressed reporters regarding revelations of human organ trafficking in the country, as well as the shutdown of Liberty Reserve, which has been called the largest money laundering operation in history.


“We’ve performed two important operations, and far from ashamed, we should feel good because our system is working, we are cleaning house, and hopefully some other countries around us dare to do the same,” Chinchilla said.


Chinchilla’s remarks come a day after a top physician at the state-ran Calderon Guardia Hospital was arrested on suspicion of being part of an international organ trafficking network with connections to Israel and Eastern Europe.


The remarks also come less than a month after international authorities dismantled Costa Rica-based Liberty Reserve.  Authorities are calling Liberty Reserve the largest money laundering operation in history, calling it the “bank of the criminal underworld.”  Liberty Reserve is charged with laundering more than $6 billion.


In her statement, Chinchilla took credit for the Liberty Reserve investigation, saying that Costa Rican financial intelligence agents initiated the investigation against Liberty Reserve in 2009, and later involved the United States to help dismantle the money laundering operation with the assistance of other countries.

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  • roberto


  • disgusted

    What a laugh er! Clean house of crime! How about the PLN who is now in charge of the purse strings, Contracts and endless ineffective well paid consultants. Laws that are passes and does not apply to the elite here. Example the OIJ deputy how was blind drunk and still kept his license and job. Lady Laura the house cleaning starts with YOU!

    • roberto

      Where is Rolando Fonseca these days?

      • roberto

        The former player and advisor to the company THX Energy, Rolando Fonseca, did not file tax information about goods found in societies where he appears, according to Carlos Vargas, Director of Taxation, who said the player now faces a fine whose minimum is three million colones.

  • mhogan

    “Initiated an investigation … in 2009″. Why does it take approximately 4 years to bring a case to charges laid? A lot of room for crime over this period of time. And how about “organ trafficking” … how long has this been under investigation and how much money was made or lives lost in the interim? And how many perpetrators of these crimes will get off because of poor investigative results, despite the time involved to collect the evidence?

    • Costa Rica Fraud Investigator

      A good point, mhogan! That is another reason that the laws need to be amended. The criminal justice system should “protect and defend its citizens” against criminal acts. The latency and dysfunction of system sends a clear signal to criminals – the chances of facing consequences for crime are less than 10%. To a criminal, a 90% chance of success for pulling off a scam sounds like a pretty good deal!

      From a sociological perspective, here’s why the current system doesn’t work:

      A society adheres and abides by man’s laws, not due to personal integrity, but out of fear for the consequences that may follow.

      • mhogan

        4 justifications for punishment: 1) retribution; 2) deterrence — which you alluded to in your comment; 3) incapacitation (protect society–delays and errors in prosecution put the general public at risk); and 4) rehabilitation. Justice delayed/justice denied. Of course, you also get the argument that a “Court” does not dispense justice–they only give a verdict. Sound familiar?

  • garystvshow

    Gary Christensen TV News and Human Rights Costa Rica

    El de facto Presidente de Costa Rica Oscar Arias y su cartel, La Nacion, la Policia Presidencial – la DIS (Los capos), los Bancos, Canal 7… es el crimine organizado en Costa Rica.

    Cato Institute, Washington D.C.

    “”El PLN y (el Gobierno de Oscar Arias, La Nación, Canal 7, Repretel y Johnny Araya) la institucionalizacion del crimen organizado”"

    • Marcel M. Pfister

      Interesting and absolute nonsense.

  • Aitor Xaranga

    Is that Cleaning House…or “Clearing House”? I bet it’s the latter!

  • curious

    Has ICR suddenly decided to offer a comic section? This is too funny for words.

  • Ken Morris

    I dunno, these are actually two pretty big busts, which no doubt required a lot of intricate investigation to achieve in a way that allows the charges to stick. Granted, cleaning house is probably an overstatement, but credit ought to be given where it is due.

    • Timothy Williams

      Ken, I don’t see you comment very often anymore and the ICR staff misses the balance of opinion. Please return. Best :)

    • roberto

      Thursday: Sala IV studies disobedience against President and Ministers.

      • disgusted

        To Stifle freedom and free speech. The definition of “disobedience” has a wide range. Is this for us on this paper to stop making comments? Is it striking? I see you said to make a “study” Humm does that mean more and more consultants that are connect to their family. I think so. Again, Lady Laura your transparent presidency has been a joke.

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