October 10th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Police in Costa Rica seized an arsenal of military weapons, including assault rifles and a rocket launcher hidden in a camp in a mountainous area near the border with Nicaragua, the Ministry of Security announced yesterday.
A total of 24 AK-47 assault files, three M-16’s, an RPG-7 rocket launcher, and other large-caliber weapons in addition to a large quantity of ammunition and fuel were found on a finca in Cutris de San Carlos, Alajuela.
Security Minister, Mario Zamora said that the first impression of authorities is that the weapons belong to an international arms smuggling group, noting that the weapons are quite valuable, but said that authorities are investigating the situation.
Zamora said that the weapons are new and well cared for, ruling out the possibility of the weapons being leftovers from when armed groups operated in the area during the war in Nicaragua.
The Border Police, who were deployed to the area yesterday after several days of receiving reports of suspicious overflights of helicopters, people and vehicles in the area, also located an area that apparently functioned as a heliport.
Authorities are attempting to determine if the find is related to the discovery on Sunday of two vehicles containing weapons and cash nearby.
Zamora said that ground teams are continuing to scour the area looking for more weapons and explosives, while authorities try to determine the origin and destination of the weapons. Zamora said authorities have not ruled out that the discovery may be drug related.
Authorities made no mention of a Costa Rican self-described paramilitary group calling itself Patrulla 1856 (The 1856 Patrol) which emerged last month in the midst of tensions over several border disputes between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
AFP contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note (9:59 a.m.) Inside Costa Rica is receiving new information that the weapons cache and property are linked to a Mexican drug trafficking organization. Look for a follow-up article tomorrow once we are able to verify sources.